On Friday, March 3, 2023, President George Manneh Weah reaffirmed the commitment of the Government of Liberia (GOL), to creating conducive environment for the empowerment of Liberian women and girls across the country, and for women to realize their full potentials.
Addressing this year’s International Women’s Day Celebration held at the Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf (EJS), Ministerial Complex in Congo Town, outside Monrovia, President Weah told hundreds of celebrants that his government has made, and continues to make tremendous efforts, working with partners towards creating the enabling conditions which will enhance women’s participation in politics and other national and international endeavors.
Another salient point stressed by the Liberian President is that women’s participation in the country’s political process is of paramount importance to the growth and development of the Liberian Nation.
As if these salient words of encouragement and inspiration for Liberian women and girls were not enough, President Weah underscored the dire need for more women to register and vote, and to contest for public offices not only in the October 10, 2023 Presidential and Legislative elections but beyond.
Weah: “We will enhance our strategic partnerships with the private sector, with support from all stakeholders and donors, including the United Nations, European Union, World Bank, and Sweden, to ensure that the needed financial resources are available to support this objective.”
While highlighting multiple achievements of his government in bridging the digital gender gap on widening economic and social inequalities by helping women and girls to innovate with Technology aimed at promoting gender equality, the Liberian Leader asserted that Liberia now has a Call Center for reporting of Sexual and Gender Based Violent Cases (SGBV), as well as for addressing maternal health and child protection issues.
Further narrating, he pointed out that Liberia’s Social Safety Nets Programs also utilize mobile money platform to ensure that vulnerable households, particularly female-headed households, receive cash grant payments while the government is also leveraging digital inclusion for the economic empowerment of rural women entrepreneurs and smallholders by giving them improved access to markets, as well as training and other commercial opportunities, through the use of digital platforms.
“In terms of disaster risk reduction, we continue to improve women’s access to risk transfer and finance by enhancing digital mobile-enabled disaster alerts, such as weather forecasts and climate-smart agricultural advisories on digital platforms,” President Weah further disclosed.
Indeed, we, at THE INDEPENDENT Newspaper are heartened, stimulated and inspired by the efforts and determination by the Liberian Government, gear towards women’s socio-economic and political empowerment.
That the Weah-led Government sees it essential to capacitate and empower women and girls in Liberia to enable them realize their individual and collective potentials is, to say the least, prudently heartwarming and gratifying.
This is why we are encouraging the Government to remain more focused in this direction.
Frankly, we know for sure that such efforts by the government may not be 100% perfect as their actualization also have associated challenges and bottle-necks, but the Government should remain unwaveringly dedicated to achieving these goals in the best interest of Liberian women and girls.
We say this simply because, Liberian women and girls, for decades, if not a century, had been left behind of their male counterparts at almost every stratum of the Liberian society as a result of some of our so-called traditional laws and practices that were grossly inimical and counter-productive to women’s socio-economic, political and education empowerment and progress.
This is also why we reserve no atom of hesitation to concur with President Weah that considering the transition in the voter registration processes from manual registration to a digital registration system, using biometrics, for the 2023 Presidential and Legislative elections, his government intends to exert its best efforts to ensure that women across Liberia understand the new digital voter registration process, and are registered within the allotted time-frame.
Truly, the protection and empowerment of women, girls, and children, including all segments of the Nation’s population that are the most vulnerable should remain key on the President’s agenda because, in the words of President Weah, “women are the dearest” to his heart.
This is why the President’s latest Resolution and his reaffirmed commitment to mobilizing the needed resources for women’s protection and empowerment cannot be overemphasized.
In other words, the Weah government must continue to provide tangible support for the safety of women from all forms of violence, including Sexual and Gender-Based Violence, particularly rape by ensuring that no perpetrator of any form of SGBV will move with impunity throughout the Liberian landscape, whether rain or shine, or day or night.