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News release

Liberians strongly endorse women’s political leadership, Afrobarometer survey shows

5 Jun 2023 Liberia
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News release
Key findings
  • More than three-quarters (78%) of Liberians say women should have the same chance as men of being elected to public office (Figure 1).
  • More than eight in 10 respondents (86%) think women will gain standing in the community if they run for office. But two-thirds (65%) consider it likely that others in the community will criticise or harass them, and more than half (54%) think they will probably face problems with their families (Figure 2).
  • Four in 10 Liberians (40%) say that men should be given priority over women in hiring when jobs are scarce, while 59% reject this form of gender discrimination. Men trail women (55% vs. 64%) in insisting on gender equality when it comes to jobs. Citizens with post-secondary education and those with no formal schooling are equally likely to support equality in hiring (Figure 3).
  • Two-thirds (67%) of Liberians say the government should do more to promote equal rights and opportunities for women, including a majority (55%) who think it should do “much more” (Figure 4).

A large majority of Liberians believe that women should have the same chance of being elected to public office as men, the latest Afrobarometer survey shows. 

While many survey respondents think that women will gain standing in the community if they run for elective office, the poll also indicates that women could be criticised or harassed if they do so. 

Liberia became the first African country to elect a woman as head of state in 2006, when Ellen Johnson Sirleaf became president. But women’s representation in public life remains low, according to the United Nations Development Programme. The country’s general elections in October will include female candidates in parliamentary races but not in the presidential contest. 

Survey responses also show that a majority of Liberians support gender equality in hiring and that most citizens want their government and elected officials to do more to advance the rights and equality of women.