It's Election Day in Liberia!

By Kristen Cordell

Today, Liberians head to the polls in the country's second presidential election since the end of a brutal fourteen-year civil war.

In 2009, I lived and worked in Liberia, and got to experience first-hand the diverse civil society that the country is famous for. During my time there, I met the National Election Council's (NEC) chairwoman Elisabeth Nelson, the first woman to hold the post. The NEC is crucial to making sure that all Liberians are engaged in a fair, transparent political process - and this includes women.

The Security Sector and Women: Improving National Capacities

By Kristen Cordell
In  post-conflict societies, security systems and women are often at odds. Police and military may have acted as perpetrators of sexual and gender-based violence during and after conflict. Displaced and refugee women are particularly at risk with the erosion of social, cultural and formal legal protection mechanisms. Consider, for example, the recent HRW report from Kenya, which identified abuses committed by local camp police. Haiti also provides a compelling example.

Empowering Women in the Fight Against Gender-Based Violence

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Violence against women is an international problem, but many countries and policymakers turn a blind eye to the prevalence of such abuse. Although there are many obstacles to preventing gender-based violence, including misperceptions of rape survivors, lack of funding and the absence of proper sexual assault services, there is hope.

President’s Corner: Ibrahim Prize Opens New Era for Africa

By Kenneth Bacon
Today’s announcement that Joaquim Chissano, the former president of Mozambique, won the first Mo Ibrahim Prize for Achievement in African Leadership, could open a new era in African politics and governance.

The prize—the world’s largest—was established by Dr. Mo Ibrahim, a Sudanese- born entrepreneur who made a fortune by bringing cell phone service to Africa, in order to focus attention on African leaders who follow the rule of law and put their country’s future above their own.
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