Ellen Johnson Sirleaf spent 12 years in office as president of Liberia. There are some of the surveys that show how some of these years of ruling, she was performing and how Liberians were comparing different years of her ruling time and statistics respectively, and the results are sharply negative in the years of 2012 and 2015. The survey used different types of groups like Rural residents (30%), respondents with high (20%) or moderate (31%) lived poverty, less educated and unemployed citizens were less likely to expect that economic conditions will be “better” or “much better” in 12 months’ time. Only among Liberians with low (52%) or no (72%) lived poverty, those who have a post-secondary education (50%), and those in full-time employment (57%) did at least half expect things to improve over the next year. Between 2012 and 2015, the percentage of Liberians who said their country is headed in the right direction dropped from 51% to 42% and others appreciated their country’s economy to be “very” good or “fairly” from 42% to 26% as living conditions were not well improving. The survey also shows how the trust of the population towards their president dropped from 60% to 30%, meanwhile perceptions of corruption doubled, which means it moved from 31% in 2005 to 64% in 2015 whereby the survey says that the officials in the office of the presidency were corrupt, here the people working in the presidency were included in corrupted authorities.
Between 2008 and 2015, the public approval of the government’s performance on managing the economy, improving living standards of the poor, and the other key policy including also the service delivery issues declined. Meantime and sectors of the economy like unemployment, infrastructure, management of the economy, education, and agriculture were problems Liberians claimed that the government should address them and some of these sectors like education and infrastructure were among of the things that needed additional government investment. In 2017, Ellen decided to take down the power. Her political party had a candidate who was to replace Ellen, Joseph Baker, was the presidential candidate of Ellen’s political party (Unity Party).
At the first round of voting she was accused by the UP (Unity Party) to support another candidate, George Weah who is currently president, although she denied the accusations, the charges persisted, and she was expelled from her political party (UP). On January 22 she stepped down as president of Liberia, handing power to Weah. In February 2018, Ellen was awarded the 2017 Ibrahim Prize for Achievement in African Leadership. She was awarded $5 million, followed by an annual $ 200000 stipend for the rest of her life. (Editors of Encyclopaedia Britannica, 2018).
On 7th October 2011, WIPNET founder Leymah Gbowee, along with Liberia’s president Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, were named winners of the Nobel Peace Prize for their non-violent struggle for the safety of women and for women’s rights to full participation in peace-building work. (Editors of Encyclopaedia Britannica,2018). When Ellen Johnson Sirleaf retired last month after 12 years in office in Liberia, she signed an executive order banning female genital mutilation (FGM) in the country for girls younger than 18 years. FGM refers to all procedures involving partial or total removal of the female external genitalia or other injury to the female genital organs. It has no medical benefits and often causes great harm: pain, bleeding, and infection, and in the longer term urinary problems, cysts, childbirth complications, and increased risk of newborn and maternal death.
It scars girls’ bodies and is a form of violence towards women, a severe violation of human rights, and an expression of gender inequality. Her profile as Africa’s first female president and a recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize for efforts to advance women’s rights and peace ensured her executive order got international media attention, thus shining needed light on a devastating practice. Ellen Johnson Sirleaf used all her efforts and status as well as the way she was leading to fighting for women right, as in this example of changing the culture to end FGM (Female Genital Mutilations). (The Lancet, 2018).