Prince Harry(prince) - September 15, 1984 - 32 years old Chelsea Kane(tv actress) - September 15, 1988- 28 years old When Liberians go to the polls in October, there will be a disproportionate number of men on the ballot papers. Only 163 of 1 026 approved candidates – just 16 per cent – in these presidential and legislative elections are women.
This represents only a marginal increase since 2005 and 2011, when women accounted for 14 per cent and 11 per cent of candidates, respectively.
Ellen Johnson Sirleaf – who, 12 years ago, became the first woman to be elected head of state in any African country – has often been hailed as a feminist icon. But the poor representation of women in elections is as much her fault as it is a reflection of Liberia’s acutely patriarchal political system.
Her presidency has actually served the interests of a small, elite group of women and men in politics. It has upheld the country’s long-standing patriarchal norms. She has publicly distanced herself from the very movement that first got her elected, decrying feminism as “extremism”.
Sirleaf’s brand of femocracy – a term coined by Nigerian feminist scholar Amina Mama – has severely stifled women’s political participation.
Mama, whose research focused on African first ladies as femocrats, makes an important distinction between feminism and femocracy. She argues that while feminism attempts to shatter the political glass ceiling, femocracy deliberately keeps it intact. The Conversation