Home Economy In Promoting Women’s Empowerment: Liberia Faces Challenges …Gender Minister Saydee-Tarr Tells World Leaders At Global Financing Pact’ held in Paris, France

In Promoting Women’s Empowerment: Liberia Faces Challenges …Gender Minister Saydee-Tarr Tells World Leaders At Global Financing Pact’ held in Paris, France

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By: H. Richard Fallah

MONROVIA: At a high level panel discussion summit for a new global financing pact held in Paris, France, Liberias Minister of Gender Children and Social Protection Williametta Piso Saydee-Tarr admitted to the many challenges the country is faced with in promoting womens empowerment.

Serving as one of the panelists at the two days Summit organized by President Emmanuel Macron of France and held in Paris from June 22-23, 2023, Minister Tarr said despite the numerous social protection interventions, Liberia, like other countries, continues to struggle in getting the expected results for women across the nation.

She said the perceptions about women’s capabilities and roles in the society are changing, and therefore, this is a need to provide a space to promote more equitable and inclusive economic development.

The Gender boss believes that donors and financiers can play a crucial role in addressing these challenges and advancing women’s empowerment.

“We look forward to being supported extensively to address issues of Sexual and Gender-based violence; Gender inequality and cultural norms; Education and literacy rates; Healthcare and reproductive rights, as well as Women’s Access to Justice, and Promoting Women’s economic and Political Empowerment, particularly so when we gear toward elections in October of this year,” Minister Tarr maintained.

She pointed to challenges that donors and financiers should know about so as to attract extensive international support for the advancement of women’s empowerment in Liberia.

Madam Tarr further explained the perspective of Liberia’s National Gender Strategy and the intention behind the country’s gender-targeted social welfare program.

She re-emphasized that the intention behind Liberia’s gender-targeted social welfare program is to promote women’s economic empowerment and contribute to achieving additional development goals.

“Liberia’s social protection program contributes towards gender equality by challenging social norms and barriers that restrict women’s economic participation,” she noted.

Minister Saydee-Tarr: “This program acknowledges that women face specific challenges and barriers that hinder their economic participation and overall development.”
She asserted that by targeting women with social welfare programs, Liberia aims to address these challenges and create opportunities for women to enhance their economic status.

The Gender and Social Protection boss averred that the wider impact of this program has been to achieve several development goals, including poverty reduction, sustainable economic growth, and gender equality.

According to her, empowering women economically, the program aimed to reduce poverty among women and their households, increase their income and financial independence, and enable them to access productive resources and opportunities.

Minister Tarr also used the moment to applaud President George Weah for what she termed as, ‘always allowing a gender balance.’

The Liberian Minister shared the panel with some highly influential women leaders including; Madam Nirmala Sitharaman, Minister of Finance, Christine Lagarde, European Central Bank President, Bruno Le Maire, Minister of Economy, Finance and Recovery, France, Jessica Espinoza, and Mrs. Melinda French Gates, Co-Chair, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, among several others.

The panel discussions were guided under the topic: “Investments to Unleash Women’s Economic Power; Social Welfare & Digital Public.”

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Women’s Economic Empowerment program seeks to increase women’s economic opportunities by supporting efforts to help them generate and control their own incomes.

The gathering concentrated on exploring how countries are evolving their social welfare programs to ensure greater inclusivity and efficiency for government social welfare programs, how implementing Digital Public Infrastructure (DPI) to digitize social welfare payments can advance women’s economic power, and why the global financial community should invest in DPI to support the effort.

The High-Level Summit also attracted several world leaders, prominent international donors and financiers to include President Emmanuel Macron, France; Mia Mottley, Prime Minister of Barbados; UN Secretary General, Antonio Guterres; Bruno Le Maire, France Finance Minister, Janet Yellen, US Finance Secretary, Rwanda Prime Minister Edouard Ngirente, President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, Brazil and President Ali Bongo Ondimba, Gabon.
Others were President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, Egypt, Olaf Scholz, Chancellor of Germany, President Ranil Wickremesinghe, Sri Lanka, Ursula Gertrud von der Leyen, European Commission President, President Macky Sall, Senegal, President Hakainde Hichilema, Zambia, Chrysoula Zacharopoulou, France Secretary of State, Catherine Colonna, Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs of France and Charles Michel, EU Council President amongst others.
Also in attendance were Christine Lagarde, European Central Bank President, Kristalina Ivanova Georgieva-Kinova, IMF Managing Director, Ajay Banga, World Bank President, Mafalda Duarte, Green Climate Fund Executive Director, Jennifer Morris, CEO – Nature Conservancy and Sima Sami Bahous, UN Women Executive Director.

The widely publicized Summit for a New Global Financing Pact was an opportunity for donors, financiers and influential world leaders to collectively rethink the global financial architecture of international solidarity and climate action by proposing concrete solutions to create a fairer, more effective and more responsive global financial system.

The high-level gathering was intended to meet the common challenges relating to planet and development.

The goal was to enhance cooperation among the international community in the face of the threefold challenge of poverty, climate change and the erosion of biodiversity by uniting as many partners as possible around a common roadmap, against a backdrop of international tensions.
In April 2023, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation announced the first step in the Women in the Digital Economy Fund.
The Fund was recently announced as a flagship opportunity for public-private sector collaboration to advance digital gender equality.
The Women in the Digital Economy Fund will accelerate progress to close the gender digital divide by scaling evidence-based, proven solutions that improve women’s livelihoods, economic security, and resilience.
It will support programs that advance digital access and affordability; develop relevant products and tools; provide digital literacy and skills training; promote online safety and security; and invest in sex-disaggregated data and research.

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