LIBERIA: Deputy Speaker Fonati Koffa Vows To Promote Gender Equity Bill At The National Legislature
The Deputy Speaker of the House of Counselor and Representatives, Jonathan Fonati Koffa declared his support to the Gender Equity in Politics Act of 2010 aimed at seeking the increased involvement of women in Liberia’s political process.
The bill if passed will mandate that women occupy at least 30% of all national elected offices and leadership positions in political parties, noting that shall be no less than 30 percent and no more than 70 representation of each gender in national elected offices and heads of principal and subsidiary organizations, and structures of each registered political party in Liberia.
Addressing reporters yesterday, February 17, 2021 at a well-attended press conference held at the Capitol Building, the Grand Kru County District £ 1 Representative said he will use his legislative powers to vigorously campaign for this Bill which noted will be in the interest of the Liberian people.
Deputy Speaker Koffa speaking to journalists at the press conference also re-echoed that, despite of his role at the House of Representatives, he will lobby robustly to push the Bill by allowing the participation of women in politics equitably.
The bill also provides that a special incentive funding system would be created by the government and be made available to political parties that meet the minimum requirements of women’s participation in the party’s leadership posts. Out of a total of 30 senators in the Liberian Senate, the bill has already garnered the support of
Two senators have publicly questioned the necessity of such a bill, however, and argued that what the bill seeks to do has already been addressed by article 18 of the Liberian Constitution, which provides that all Liberian citizens are entitled to equal opportunity of work and employment regardless of their sex.
The bill was proposed by the Women’s Legislative Caucus with the help of the United Nations Development Fund for women (UNIFEM), a United Nations fund dedicated to advancing women’s rights and achieving gender equality.