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Liberia: Proposal to Increase Women’s Participation in Politics

(June 7, 2010) On May 27, 2010, a bill entitled the Gender Equity in Politics Act 2010, which seeks to increase the involvement of women in Liberia's political process, was proposed to the country's legislature for floor action (Liberia's Legislature Introduces Bill to Increase Women's
Participation in Politics,
AFRIQUE AVENIR, May 28, 2010, available at

The bill, if passed in its current form, will mandate that women occupy at least 30% of all national elected offices and leadership positions in political parties. (Ajohnson, Gender Equity Bill Lands at Senate, DAILY OBSERVER, May, 28, 2010, available at Specifically, it provides:”[t]here 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 organs and structures of each registered political party in Liberia.” (Id.)

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 21. (Id.) 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. (Id.)

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. (Id.)