In the process of rebuilding the one time wartime hot-zone, where many Liberians are still finding the pieces of the Civil war that engulfed the country into violence lasting for over a decade, a handful of influential females on the other hand have twisted the cultural and historical beliefs of mono-genderism leadership on the African Continent. Owing to the facts that gender culture and emotional intelligence impede women career growth and serve as barrier to equality and majority head counts in the leadership structure, Liberia has experienced and still witnessing the indelible print of females nowadays since post-civil war era.
The below excerpt from African Star analysis on Liberian Female Leaders mentioned Hon. Mawinie G. Diggs of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. She got appointed to her position under the current administration headed by H.E Dr. George M. Weah.
Furthermore, the report also commended females from past and current administration, which includes Former Liberian President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, Associate Justice of the Supreme Cllr. Jamesetta Wolokollie, former Foreign Affairs Minister Olubanke King-Akerele, former Finance Minister and current Deputy World Bank Director Dr. Antoinette Sayeh, former National Elections Commission Chair, Liberia’s Ambassador to the United Kingdom, Gurly Gibson-Schwarz, Deputy AFL Chief of Staff Brigadier General Geraldine J. George, District number four Representative Madam Suacoco Dennis, Ms. Davidetta Brown of the National Election Commission (NEC), Minister of Gender, Children and Social Protection Williametta Piso Saydee Tarr , etc.
“Women continue to make greater professional strides as demonstrated by their appointment to several high-profile positions in the George M. Weah Administration. Their sacrifice in public service in the past or now is front and center and elevates the country. It is indisputable that Liberian women have performed equally and admirably in public office in comparison to their male counterparts. It is worth recalling the public service of several prominent and acclaimed female public servants as former President Ellen John-Sirleaf, Former Foreign Minister Olubanke-King Akerele, Associate Justice Jamesetta Wolokollie, former NEC Chair Cllr Frances Johnson-Morris, former Finance and Planning Minister and current Deputy World Bank Director Dr. Antoinette Sayeh, and former President of the University of Liberia Dr. Ophelia Weeks.
The list of female leaders in the history of Liberia is not exhaustive and the argument can be reasonably made that given the male dominated society presents its own set of challenges which they must overcome and in addition excel as leaders. Liberian female leaders have accomplished this feat so many times. We remind Liberians that female leadership are more likely to see the structural barriers and uneven expectations holding women back from top positions. This viewpoint prepares them to be innovative and determined to succeed in getting their jobs done.
Strategic and Influential Public Offices
Today, women in Liberia continue to still excel in their various professions. We acknowledge President Weah’s nomination, in March 2019, of the first female Deputy Chief of Staff at the Minister of Defense Colonel Geraldine Janet George, a career soldier and former Commander of the 23rd Infantry Brigade at the Edward B. Kessely Military Barracks.
Another critical post is the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection which is headed by a U.S. trained social worker Williametta Piso Saydee Tarr. Liberia’s envoy to the Royal Court of St. James in the United Kingdom is Ambassador Gurly Gibson-Schwarz who has demonstrated a unique ability to attract millions in international investments to Liberia since her days as Liberia’s Trade Attaché at the Embassy in the United States of America.
At Liberia’s Foreign Ministry a professional envoy and administrator is Deputy Minister Mawinie G. Diggs. The highly experienced Minister and one time Acting Foreign Minister is well respected among her peers and the Diplomatic Corp for her record of getting things done. She was even tapped last year by President George M. Weah to travel to Abuja, Nigeria and deliver a special Presidential Message to President Muhammdu Buhari on behalf of President Weah. Liberians witnessed her accomplishment of that diplomatic feat by this seasoned diplomat and administrator Minister Diggs. It is no secret that the current Foreign Minister Gbehzhongar Findley has his eyes set on the senatorial seat for Grand Bassa County and is wrapping up his tenure at the Ministry. Deputy Minister Diggs is viewed favorably by foreign diplomats and Liberians at home and abroad as a replacement for the outgoing Minister Findley.
The most recent is consideration is that of Ms. Davidetta Brown-Lassana to head the country’s National Elections Commission (NEC). If confirmed by the Liberian Senate, this high-profile appointment will solidify President Weah’s commitment to empowering and prioritizing women, from a promise he made.
Representative Rustolyn Suacoco Dennis of District 4, Montserrado County in the National Legislature is a member of the Women’s Legislative Caucus of Liberia. Her advocacy, leadership on women and national issues and legislative agenda have won solid admiration among her peers and ordinary citizens. Observers say the presence of Representative Madam Suacoco-Dennis and other female lawmakers in the National Legislature solidifies the trailblazing effort that encourages other young Liberian women to aspire to public service.
It can be argued that President Weah is not without qualified female candidates for various strategic public posts, if he wanted, such as the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Education, the United Nations, and several foreign diplomatic posts. The paradigm leadership shift is to support President Weah’s strategic nomination of females in his Government in the second half of his Administration”.