CCTV America’s Shraysi Tandon interviewed Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Africa’s first democratically-elected female president and a Noble Peace Prize winner. She’s been ranked as the most powerful woman in the world by Time and Forbes Magazines. The Economist has called her Liberia’s most successful president. Tandon asked Sirleaf one more question on whether there is a price to pay for all the international accolades and recognition she’s recieved. Here’s her response:
“Yes there has been, because it sort of takes me away from home, perhaps more often than I should because you get called upon as the president to speak to this place, to be here… you get selected to head so many things that promote women’s endeavors or leadership worldwide, you get involved as a leader. So, yes, it takes away from something and that creates a lot of local criticism for you on a domestic front. So… high grades internationally, but you are not doing what you should be doing at home,” Johnson-Sirleaf said.
“So, you try as best as you can to balance it when at home, to work long hours, and to make up for the times that you were away. And of course, now that we have been having some problems with the economy, that intensifies some of the discontent, because all of the plans you have for employment, for getting your roads done, expanding access to water or to power… When you can’t do that… whether it’s because resources have become constrained or whether Ebola has knocked the economy down, you face a lot of problems so you have to continue to stay focused, continue to try to re-mobilize and rebuild, and try to keep working with the populations so that they can understand and be a part of bearing through the difficulties and helping through the process of reconstruction.”