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Calling on Africa's women

Associated Press
Published November 24, 2005

MONROVIA, Liberia - Africa's first elected female president pledged in her acceptance speech Wednesday to end Liberia's history of corrupt, brutal and male-dominated rule.

Confirmed Wednesday as the winner of Liberia's first postwar elections, Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf said her victory marked a new beginning for her country and for African women, whom she called on to help govern their own countries.

Supporters cheered the veteran politician as her motorcade toured the battle-scarred capital, Monrovia, a once-tidy city whose government-supplied electricity, water and sewage systems failed during years of strife that killed tens of thousands.

"Today marks the beginning of a new journey in the history of our nation, a history that has meaning far beyond our nation's borders: the election of Africa's first democratically elected female president," said Johnson-Sirleaf, 67.

"We have shattered the glass ceiling theory, and I hope women will seize the moment to become active in civil and political affairs here at home and abroad," she said.

The final, certified results of the Nov. 8 runoff showed Johnson-Sirleaf beating her rival, soccer superstar George Weah, 59.4 percent to 40.6 percent, the National Elections Commission chairwoman said.

[Last modified November 24, 2005, 00:19:08]

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