Empowering Liberia's youth and women in the democratic process
News from the Field, 17 February 2012
Although recent Liberian elections have generally been pronounced free and fair by the international community, studies show that even more than a decade after the end of armed conflict, some voters vote out of fear and ignorance. This is particularly true of rural women and youth, many of whom are illiterate and have no access to civic or voter education. This, in turn, contributes to wider governance challenges and corruption.
This is why UNDEF funds a project to provide voters' education and capacity building among rural women and youth while training them in advocacy, leadership, communication and lobbying. The initiative, implemented by Volunteers to Support International Efforts in Developing Africa, works with local civil society groups in each county of Liberia to build strong grass-root coalitions, and works to support young elected officials youths and women members of parliament in influencing legislation. In this way, the project strives to open up the process of law-making to public scrutiny, and promote overall citizen participation in the democratic process.