Former Liberian President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf has joined the call for more women in elective positions in the sub-region.
She also urged the Speaker of the ECOWAS Parliament, Sidie Tunis, to champion the cause of West African women among member states.
Sirleaf made the call when she received Tunis, who led the delegation of the ECOWAS Parliament (ECOPARL) on a courtesy visit to her residence in Monrovia.
The visit follows the successful completion of the ECOWAS Parliament delocalised meeting of “Empowerment of Women in the West-African Sub-region”.
The meeting of the ECOPARL Joint Committee on Social Affairs, Gender and Women Empowerment, Education, Science and Culture, Health seeks to proffer solutions to issues affecting women in the sub-region.
Sirleaf commended the initiative of Tunis so far towards ensuring the inclusion of women across all sectors especially increased representation in the ECOWAS Parliament.
“I am pleased to see many women in this gathering and that brings me to say that except for Senegal, our countries have not done well in politics and we need to do more.
“We cannot do it unless you lead us. I will need to recognize the value and contributions of women to peace, security and development.
“So I will call upon you as the head of the Parliament to be a champion for ensuring that as we go into elections in all of our countries, we have a minimum of 30 per cent representation of women.
“That we get what has been the ECOWAS standard, trying to conform with International Standard by the year, and that is that we seek to have minimum 30 per cent and we are not asking for too much.
“We like to see as women that we are equal in every way to men, we like to see that if we get that minimum then I think we will have so many women.
“And that we work very strongly through coalition and collaboration to help even push harder for the achievements of our development goals.
“I want to thank all the Parliamentarians for all you have done to keep the fire burning, to keep pushing all of our countries to meet the goals aspirations of ECOWAS.
“And as long as you continue to do that, you will get the support and I assure you that all the ECOWAS leaders will stand by you,” Sirleaf said.
Sirleef noted that ECOWAS stands as one of the best performing regions in the continent in terms of its solidarity, in terms of its decisions to enforce those regulations for all, hence the need to work hard to sustain it.
She urged Parliamentarians to continue to work hard so that the West African subregion remains an example to other regions of the continent.
Tunis said Sirleef’s position as the first female President in Africa is a precedent set by the West African region which must be sustained.
He also applauded Liberia for being a model of women empowerment to other African countries.
The Speaker said that the resolutions from the delocalized meeting which was a success would be forwarded to Sirleaf.
“We have been here for about a week now at the delocalized meeting with the theme empowerment of women in the ECOWAS Sub-region.
“We believe that your election as the first female President in Africa and just a few years down the line the election of her Excellency Joy Taylor as Vice President demonstrates the fact that Liberia is already a model in women empowerment.
“You have already demonstrated it and throughout your tenure as President of Liberia, you did everything possible to empower women and to promote women.
“So we believe that if we are having a meeting of such nature in Liberia our first point of call should be here.
“We waited to finish the session to bring the resolution to you as soon as that is done you will receive it.
“We have had a very fruitful meeting, the presentations from the experts were excellent and I must say we are very elated about that to chart a way forward to women’s empowerment in the sub-region,” Tunis said.