Tag Archives: Liberia

Hillary Clinton Fights For African Rights

During her political career, Hillary Clinton has labored to be respected as an intelligent leader due to her husband’s prominence, but in Hillary Clinton’s fight for African rights she has landed on center stage of human rights. After bluntly telling east African leaders they had to do something about the carnage in the Congo and failures of human rights in Zimbabwe, she arrived in Liberia to the shouts of thousands of people. Many held up signs saying, “Hillary Clinton Woman of Substance.” She was in Liberia to make clear her support of President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, the first woman to lead an African nation.

Sirleaf inherited a nation that had endured a brutal civil war from 1989-2003 during which time over 250,000 were killed and the entire nation left in ruins. Clinton told Liberians, “We are supportive and will continue to be so because we think that Liberia is on the right tract, as difficult as that may be.” During her tour, the Secretary of State has gone out of her way to praise the efforts of African women. “If African women decided to stop working tomorrow, the whole continent would shut down. People wouldn’t eat, crops wouldn’t be planted or harvested.”

Behold The New Africa

Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, not merely the president of Liberia, but the first female to become president on the continent of Africa gave the Nelson Mandela lecture in South Africa. Nelson Mandela applauded as she denounced the crime of Zimbabwe where President Robert Mugabe has not only stolen and election but brutalized his own people. She expressed her “solidarity with the people of Zimbabwe” and expressed sorrow so few African leaders had joined in attempts to restore to the people of Zmbabwe their right to elect whom they please as their leader. Ms. Sirlead noted in 1985 her nation had a sham election and no one in Africa took action so Liberia was torn to shreds for thirty-five years in civil war.

President Sirleaf expressed the key point of what is happening on the African continent when she said her firm conclusion is “that Africa is not poor, but it has been poorly managed.” The tragedy of Africa is the lack of attendance at her lecture by President Mbeki of South Africa whose cowardly support for Mugabe has shamed his nation in the eyes of the world.

Teacher Abuse Of Liberian Female Students On Rise

Julia Gibson, writing in the Liberian Times, sharply criticized the rise in cases of sexual abuse of Liberian girls in schools. “Most of us who follow the news from Liberia may have read of the escalation of pregnancy of students, allegedly by teachers. This shameful and unethical practice is, if not illegal, is not new in Liberia.” However, she notes, the rise of gender equity ideas in her country have now made what previously was an accepted reality of life in Liberia, a topic of concern. She points out “in the sixties and seventies I recall female students were also in intimate relationships with teachers in order to get good grades” and these girls even had a nickname from others who referred to them as “teacher pets.”

The practice of students in many parts of Africa being compelled to subject themselves to sexual abuse or be required to pay bribes for good grades is all too common. Ms. Gibson notes the new idea of a Gender Ministry is now affording females government support against the abuse to which they have been subjected. Perhaps, criminal prosecution of some teachers might assist in reducing this problem.