To start our women Celebration series, we begin our trip by going to Liberia, a West African country that gave the African continent its first female president. Ellen Johnson Sirleaf made history the day she became president. For the first time ever, a woman was president on the continent. This was quite a landmark achievement on a continent that struggles with a history of toxic patriarchy. Issues that affect women and girls in African nations range from child marriages, female gender mutilation, minimal Economic opportunities and other problems. Having a Female president brought hope and showed that one of the highest glass ceiling could be shattered.
Madam Sirleaf has impressive credentials, she studied Economics and Business Administration, and got a Masters in Public Administration from Harvard University. Before becoming president she served in public office as a Finance Minister during the Doe regime. She clashed with the head of state during this time, and as a result she was imprisoned, nearly executed and finally exiled.During her time in exile, she was an Economist for international organisations such as the World Bank.
Ellen Johnson Sirleaf ran for presidency in 2005, was sworn into office on 16 January 2006 and remained in office till 2018. In 2011 she won a Nobel Peace Prize. Additionally, she won the 2017 Ibrahim Prize for Achievement in African Leadership, recognizing the good changes that happened in Liberia during her presidency.
We Salute you Madam President!