Madam Ellen Johnson Sirleaf
President of Liberia
5 questions to Her Excellency President of liberia, the first female elected head of state in Africa.
—In 2011 you were awarded Nobel Peace Price together with another two women from Yemen. In your opinion, is there any correlation between women and peace?
Women with the sensitivity of being a mother tent to be more attentive to human kind which is an important attribute for peace.
—You participated in 2015 WAW! Summit in Tokyo. What was your main message?
The main message at the 2015 WAW! Summit in Tokyo is that despite significant progress, women still have a long way to go to achieve gender parity in participation, access and equality in all areas of national endeavor. Some of the measures taken by the Prime Minister of Japan as regard private sector enforcement set a good example for other countries.
—In your opinion, would the world be a different/better place with more women in leadership positions?
The world would certainly be a better place if there were more women in leadership positions. There would be less conflicts, less suffering, less migration and a more peaceful world that engenders a high level of democracy and development, particularly for poor countries.
—Liberia continues to enjoy a stable and democratic government since the conflict ended in 2003. What is women’s involvement in the peace keeping process in Liberia?
Women have been the primary Non-State actors in the promotion of peace in Liberia. They bore the bulk of suffering and became the heads of households and families when the men abandoned them in search of the spoils of war. Women also took great risks and demonstrated the courage to challenge the warlords, thereby bringing the effects of war to the attention of the international community. Women continue up to the current day to be the most viable force for keeping the peace.
—Excellency, you became the first woman-President democratically elected on the African continent. What would be your advice to women who want to enter politics?
Women who seek political office must be clear in their goals and be purposed to stay the course, despite the obstacles that are bound to arise. Women must also work with other women whose support is vital for success.