‘I will use my understanding of democracy in Sweden back home in Liberia’

'I will use my understanding of democracy in Sweden back home in Liberia'
Photo: Provinah Robert​
Abraham Monah from Liberia explains what he learned during the December 2017 Democracy and Openness study visit organized by SI.

The most memorable part of the day was the tour of the parliament. Seeing the historical parliament of Sweden and having an understanding of how the parliament works are memorable.

The most interesting speaker was Anna-Carin Hall, from Kvinna till Kvinna. What was most interesting about her was the manner in which she conducted the presentation/workshop. The presentation was very interactive and we were able to share our views on of the topic and to learn from each other through this medium.

What surprised me most was to know how parliament members are seated in the order of the map/district of Sweden.

This seating order was interesting to see because in other countries, parliament members are seated in order of political parties. The openness in parliamentary voting was exciting to learn about, as it provides transparency for democracy in practice.

The visit to parliament provided me with the opportunity to learn how the Swedish parliament works. I now understand that the parliament is the principal decision-making body in Sweden and that there are 349 parliament members with a term limit of four years.

The MPs appoint the Prime Minister, who later appoints various government ministers. Lastly, the visit helped me learn about the number of political parties in Sweden and how they are currently represented in parliament. The fact that several political parties represented in parliament with different political ideology provides more credibility to the democratic process.

I also learned a lot about Kvinna till Kvinna projects on women’s involvement in peace-building and security. I was learn about the Kvinna till Kvinna project in Liberia, a project which helped me see an example of how women can collaborate and make a positive change in society.

My understating of how democracy is practiced in Sweden will be used back home to educate my peers about how politics is practiced in Sweden. I will collaborate with like-minded colleagues back home in advocating for more openness/transparency in the democratic process. I will also educate young females back home about their role in society and how to get involved in decision-making and to advocate for gender equity.

I will also train and conduct workshops with young women about how to be a part of the peace and security process.

Abraham Monah studies at Dalarna University. He is originally from Liberia.