Increasing Women’s Political Participation in Liberia: Challenges and Potential Lessons from India, Rwanda and South Africa


Liberia, like many democracies, faces the challenge of identifying and implementing strategies for leveling the numbers of women and men in national governance and decision-making capacities. Entrenched traditional norms, cultural practices, limited education of women and institutional frameworks have hindered gender equality in Liberian politics.

Attempts by the global community to mitigate these inequities have been widely ineffective. Local efforts in Liberia, including civic education, have not led to gender equality in national governance. Liberia ranks 90th in the world in female representation in parliament, with only 13.5 percent of women making up the National Legislature of Liberia. Based on international best practices, what strategies might help improve women’s political participation in Liberia?

IFES Humphrey Fellow Samuel Cole draws on the experiences of Rwanda, India and South Africa to suggest legal reforms and civic advocacy efforts to encourage greater women's political participation in Liberia. Cole is the director of civic and voter education for the National Elections Commission of Liberia.


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Samuel Cole
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