Sunday, November 07, 2010

Liberia Makes Further Advances for Women

In recent history, Liberia has made great strides for the rights of women. In 2003, The Women of Liberia Mass Action for Peace movement helped end the Second Liberian Civil War through nonviolent political protest and diplomacy.

Then, in 2005, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf was elected Liberia's first female President. Sirleaf is the first modern, and currently the only elected, female head of state in Africa. She was named by The Economist as the best president Liberia has ever had, and has been noted recently in both TIME and Newsweek as one of the world's best leaders.

Recently, Liberian Minister of Justice Christiana Tah announced to the UN Human Rights Council that Liberia is continuing to improve the lives of its female population through improvement of policies that officials hope will enhance the capacities of female producers and entrepreneurs. The best example of such policies are reforms to Liberia's Inheritance Law, which aim to increase the property rights of married women.

These advances for women will hopefully serve as a model for other African nations, whose struggles for women's rights have not always been as successful.

-Elizabeth Newton

SOURCES: The Economist, TIME, Newsweek, United Nations Radio