The Coalition of Political Parties Women in Liberia (COPPWIL) recently cut ribbons to a refurbished and well-furnished office for the participation and advancement of women in politics in Sinkor.
COPPWIL, established in 2003 rallied with women in peacebuilding to bring an end to the war and encouraged Liberians to embrace peace and participate in democratic processes. Madam Mariah Fahniah has been rallying women from different spectrum of political parties to form a voice for elected offices until 2017 when an election was held which brought in a new corps of officers.
Madam Finda Bundo, Chief of Protocol office of President Weah and Coalition for Democratic Change was elected as President, Nuwoe Scott of the CDC Vice President for Education and Advocacy among others.
The program was attended by women and chair ladies from political parties, diplomatic corps including Liberia’s First Lady Clar Marie Weah and two female candidates for the pending Montserrado County By-election, Madam Paulita Wie of the CDC and Madam Macdella Cooper, an Independent Candidate.
Liberia’s First Clar Marie Weah thanked the women for joint efforts in acquiring a headquarters that will be used to advance their work. She pledged her unwavering support to advance women and girls in Liberia through several means in order to develop Liberia.
COPPWIL President Madam Bundoo indicated that the headquarters was acquired from dues and other funds raised by the women of COPPWIL due to the need for space to strategies women’s political progress.
Madam Bundoo maintained that COPPWIL will remain as an institution for supporting political parties’ women for elected offices around the country as a means to give a voice to marginalized women.
“COPPWIL will strengthen the capacity of all women in political parties especially those without a voice in order to make a change”.
She emphasized the need for women to remain engaged in their communities and speak out early on their political ambitions in order to proper planning in obtaining the space or seat.
“We need women who are competent and marketable for electoral offices because it makes it easy for us to rally support intense political environment”.
Madam Bundoo highlighted the need for more women to be represented at the National Legislature owing to the drop in the number of women in leadership in Liberia.
“We know in 2005 women performed very well and got more numbers at the Legislature and it dropped in 2011 and 2017 but we will not stop until we can double our numbers because we too have bills that need support for passage and one person cannot do it,” Madam Bundoo noted.
She encouraged women to join political institutions which she believes will make them credible to electorates in order to merit the support of COPPWIL in elections processes. She lauded efforts of women of Liberia for continuous support towards the advancement of women in political activities and urged more collaboration for future victories.
According to COPPWIL’s constitution, all chair ladies in political parties are automatically executive members of the institution and the constitution prohibits support to independent women candidates in elections.
For Macdella Cooper who is the lone independent candidate so far in the pending Montserrado County By-election, views COPPWIL’s constitution as bias and would breed division for the cost of supporting women to attain elected offices.
Macdella believes the support of women should be as open and free without hindrances of political affiliations and bottlenecks, noting that in order for COPPWIL to achieve its dreams of more women represented at Parliament; there is a need to amend clauses in its constitution that create separated forces of support.
“COPPWIL is lap sided with too many sycophantic behaviors and that is not in the interest of women political advancement, we cannot have an institution for women with limitation, we need to adapt the truth and support every woman who desires a political office”, She noted.
Macdella indicated that the current constitution of COPPWIL will give rise to the start of a stronger independent women movement to support women’s political leadership and those marginalized from political institutions.
“I will continue my support to COPPWIL but if the constitution is not amended there will a need to start non-political parties women movement”.