Liberia is trying to recruit more women into the army. The country’s small US-trained army is recruiting an additional 200 personnel to beef up its strength – half of whom would be women in terms of a new policy aimed at achieving gender balance.
The number of female applicants was extremely high, with more than 7,000 turning up on Tuesday at a military barrack in Monrovia’s capital for pre-recruitment physical training.
Army chief Gen Prince C. Johnson told journalists that fitness training was being organized for women from Monrovia because research showed they were less fit than women from rural areas.
On the other hand, he said that rural women did not do so well when meeting the academic requirements for recruitment and needed help in that area.
An applicant must be a high school graduate or possess some vocational training to qualify for enlistment.
Besides their desire to serve in the army, many women see this as an opportunity to overcome high levels of unemployment.
Liberia is still recovering from a civil war that ended almost 20 years ago, where over 250,000 people were killed.
President George Weah is living up to his electoral promise of closing the gender inequality that greeted the country after the civil war.