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Commending the Women's Move

The News (Monrovia),
Editorial, 25 September 2000

Monrovia - A cross-section of women, under the aegis of the Mano River Union Women Peace Network last week paraded the principal streets of Monrovia and assembled at the Executive Mansion, where they presented a position statement to President Charles Taylor.

In the statement presented to the Liberian leader, the Mano River Women expressed concerns over the deteriorating security situation in the subregion and called on the leaders of the three countries to exercise patience and extreme restraint in handling it.

The women observed that the continuous insecurity and the downward trend of the regional economy were bringing additional hardship and suffering on the people.

By their action of last Thursday, the women were playing their traditional role as mothers . . . in seeking peace, stability and prosperity for their children and the future.

The women's action was also in consonance with universal advocacy for a just and peaceful world, where the inhabitants would be free to pursue their happiness and improvement without undue restraints.

The leaders of the Mano River Union in particular, and Africa in general ought to listen to the women. Our mothers, aunts, sisters, cousins and wives deserve due attention, because when conflicts erupt, they who suffer the most.

In armed conflicts, women are most often among the first to suffer multiple abuses. They are at times raped; their husbands and children are killed, and politicians and guerilla leaders use their children as cannon fodders in prosecuting their wars.

We believe that the voices of women are sincere and honest voices of peace that must be listened to.

Unlike most men, who would concoct, manipulate and clandestinely plan wars, just to gain power and wealth, women are primarily concerned about the peace and stability of their societies, so that their children would grow up in a serene environment.

That is why we believe that the Mano River Union Women Peace Network deserves commendations, because what the women did last week was a reaffirmation of their pacifying role in national, regional and international affairs. If only our leaders could listen to the voices of reason expressed of our women, the attainment of peace will imminently become a reality.