Ellen Johnson Sirleaf
Ellen Johnson Sirleaf On Women in Liberia

On November 23, 2005, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf was elected President of Liberia and became the first woman to lead an African country. In this video, Johnson Sirleaf discusses the position of women in Liberia, saying: “Traditionally, Liberian women have been strong. In our whole history we have had that, but have not had the equality and equal opportunity. Like many other African countries, the girls get married off too young. Most times they have to help their mothers on the farms – mothers who are not schooled, and so they have not been able to reach their potential. We’ve had quite dominant, eminent women that have held high positions in our society, but the majority of those – particularly from the rural areas, have been neglected in terms of schooling.” When asked if she thinks she can change attitudes, Sirleaf responds: “Tough one in the Liberian context, because our value system has been so long-standing and have been transmuted over the years with the introduction of violence, lawlessness, and dishonesty. But we will make a difference. We will make a difference, I think, in the young people, so that they will come with a different culture, value.”

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Submitted by: Ilana Faber
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