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Liberian President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf. PHOTO: Utomi Ekpei, AFP

Liberia's outgoing President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf says she is going to actively campaign for the handful of female candidates contesting elections in October, whereas her male vice-president seeks to substitute her.

There is only a single female candidate amongst 20 contenders operating for president this yr in Liberia, as Sirleaf steps down as Africa's first female head of state following greater than a decade in energy.

"I will not be seeking re-election in the October 2017 elections, I will be on my feet everywhere in my own little way to campaign for women listed and certified by the National Elections Commission (NEC) as candidates to participate in the ensuing elections," Sirleaf stated in a press assertion issued Tuesday.

Beyond MacDella Cooper, the previous trend mannequin turned humanitarian operating for the presidency, simply 15.9 p.c of remaining candidates standing for vice-president and seats in the House of Representatives are ladies, in accordance to NEC figures.

Sirleaf stated she owed her personal victories to ladies who got here out in pressure to vote for her in 2005 and 2011 as she unified a nation rising from the ashes of a civil warfare that ended in 2003.

She could be "reciprocating the Liberian women who stood under the sun and the rain — telling the Liberian people that we, the women of Liberia, this is our time," the assertion stated.

Liberian ladies proceed to endure extraordinarily excessive charges of sexual violence, in accordance to the UN Women company, the legacy of a warfare in which rape was used as a weapon by insurgent forces and authorities troopers alike.

Widespread illiteracy and discrimination primarily based on intercourse additionally restrict ladies's involvement in public life in Liberia, in accordance to UN Women.

Joseph Boakai, Sirleaf's vice-president, is in search of the highest job for the ruling Unity Party primarily based on the file of peace and relative stability Liberia has skilled since Sirleaf was elected, and whereas he has obtained her endorsement it’s not clear if she is going to actively campaign on his behalf.

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