Liberia's president calls for greater role for women

Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf said Monday that women should be allowed to play a greater role in governing post-conflict countries, as she continued a three-day visit to Britain . Johnson Sirleaf, the first democratically elected female head of state in Africa 's history, told an audience at the Wilton Park Conference Center , 60 miles (100 kilometers) south of London , that at least 30 percent of decision makers in post-conflict nations should be women.

She took office in January to lead one of the world's poorest countries, battered by back-to-back civil wars from 1989 to 2003 that left 200,000 people dead. "We urge us all, partners in the global struggle for gender equity and equality ... to simplify and adjust every aspect of their lives in investing and acknowledging women's roles and leadership in post conflict situations," she said.

The president was referring to a U.N. Resolution established in 2000, calling for greater respect for women's rights in conflict and support for their participation in peace negotiations. Johnson Sirleaf arrived in London on Monday and was scheduled to meet on Wednesday with the Queen Elizabeth II, and to hold talks with Britain 's international development secretary Hilary Benn and Lord Triesman, the minister for Africa . She was expected to press Britain to do more to assist Liberia 's reconstruction, reports the AP.


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