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"It's time for women's equality" - Ellen Johnson Sirleaf in an exclusive interview

llen Johnson Sirleaf in interview with Africanews   -  
Copyright © africanews
Neil Breslin Jr


On May 25 and 26, Luanda, the capital of Angola, hosted the first International Women's Forum for Peace and Democracy, an event promoting the equality and emancipation of women on the continent at the initiative of the Angolan government, UNESCO, and the African Union.

On this occasion, Africanews spoke with Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, the first woman elected by universal suffrage to head an African state, Liberia, between 2006 and 2018.

Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, former President of Liberia:

"Permettez-moi de vous dire à quel point je suis heureuse de participer à ce forum. Le message qui émane de moi, ainsi que de tous les participants à ce rendez-vous, est qu'il est temps d'instaurer l'équité et l'égalité pour les femmes. Les femmes ont un rôle stéréotypé, une image qui remonte à l'histoire parce que les hommes ont toujours été dominants. Et ce stéréotype est le suivant : une femme est une mère, une femme s'occupe de la famille à la maison. Nous disons que ce n'est pas tout ce dont nous sommes capables. Aujourd'hui, les femmes sont éduquées, ont suffisamment de connaissances, sont courageuses. Nous pouvons voir que si les femmes sont impliquées dans le parlement en tant que ministres, en tant que cadres de haut niveau, vous pouvez être assurés qu'elles feront en sorte que les constitutions changent, que les lois soient réformées, que les politiques soient réexaminées et révisées pour créer cela".

The example Esperança Da Costa, Vice-President of Angola

Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, former President of Liberia:

"My first satisfaction on arriving in Angola was to meet the vice-president, who is a woman, and to congratulate her. And also to congratulate, through her, the president who knew how to support her so that she acceded to this It has become, you could say, a new path for Angola. Angola is now reforming, Angola is now on the path of sustainable development".

An African geopolitical situation in perpetual motion, the voice of women carries more and more

Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, former President of Liberia:

“At this point, we need the voice of women on global issues because the current global environment is very discouraging for Africa. We have experienced reversals of democracies, we have terrorism in some regions, we have ongoing conflict in Sudan. And this at a time when women have played a vital role in getting Sudan on the right path. This conference is therefore a continuation of the reforms and efforts deployed to move Africa in the right direction."

Equality in education, a priority for African women

Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, former President of Liberia:

“We need to ensure that girls get a quality education. This is the fundamental step for them to become the leaders of tomorrow. We also need policies and laws that protect women, especially young girls. In too many societies, they are victims of violence, they are disadvantaged, this must change. This will allow these young girls to grow up and become women capable of taking the reins of their country and of the international community."

The African Union, which is celebrating its 60th anniversary this week, now respects parity within it. Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and all the women leaders present in Luanda are now calling for it to be respected by the 55 member states.

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