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UN Women Crave More Women In Govt., Private Sector

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UN Women Country Representative Madam Lamptey speaking at the event along with participants in photo

MONROVIA: UN Women Liberia Country Representative, Madam Comfort Lamptey, has emphasized the need for companies operating in Liberia to implement the women empowerment principles.

She revealed that only three (3) companies are signatories to the women empowerment principles in Liberia.

Madam Lamptey said that women’s empowerment principles are set of principles that offer guidance and policy platform to businesses on how to advance and empower women in the workplace, marketplace and community in achieving gender equality.

According to her, reports have shown that in Liberia, only three companies, not named, are signatories to the women empowerment principles.

Madam Lamptey made the call on Thursday, March 20, 2024, at a one-day private-sector dialogue held in Monrovia. The dialogue had, as its Theme: “The Role of the Private-sector in promoting Gender Equality in Liberia”.
The dialogue was hosted by the Liberia Chamber of Commerce (LCC) in collaboration with UN Women Liberia in commemoration of the International Women’s Month (March) which is observed annually.

Speaking at the event, Madam Lamptey stated that about 80% of women in Liberia own small enterprises compared to 57% of men, underscoring their vital roles in the economy.

According to her, despite this, women are often clustered in lower-earning sectors, with less than 5% in formal jobs and they earn 14% less than men with similar skills.

She recommended that by implementing women empowerment principles, companies will advance gender equality in the workplace.

According to her, a UN Women study on the 350 largest companies in the world indicates that companies implementing the women’s empowerment principles perform better on gender equality than companies that are not implementing them.

The UN Women Liberia Country Representative added that signatories to the women empowerment principles have a better balance of women and men in the workforce.

She said that the women empowerment principles enable companies to have more women on boards and as well as in executive and senior management positions.

She maintains that with companies being signatories to the women empowerment principles, they are more likely to have polices on living wage, and human rights and likely to have gone through an independent gender audit.

Also speaking at the event, the President of Liberia Chamber of Commerce, O. Natty Davis, said that the women of Liberia play significant roles in the economy.

Mr. Davies highlighted that most of the things Liberians eat in the streets, restaurants and homes are being produced and supplied by women which contributes to investing in the long-term stability and growth of the country.

The Women’s Empowerment Principles (WEPs) was established by UN Women and UN Global Compact. It is informed by international labor and human rights standards and grounded in the recognition that businesses have a stake in, and a responsibility for, gender equality and women’s empowerment.

WEPs are a primary vehicle for corporate delivery on gender equality dimensions of the 2030 agenda and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. By joining the WEPs community, the CEO signals commitment to this agenda at the highest levels of the company and to work collaboratively in multistakeholder networks to foster business practices that empower women.

These include equal pay for work of equal value, gender-responsive supply chain practices and zero tolerance against sexual harassment in the workplace.

In celebration of the women month, every year, March is designated Women’s History Month by presidential proclamation. The month is set aside to honor women’s contributions to the society.

The Women’s History Month began as a local celebration in Santa Rosa, California. The Education Task Force of the Sonoma County (California) Commission on the Status of Women planned and executed a “Women’s History Week” celebration in 1978.

The organizers selected the week of March 8 to correspond with International Women’s Day. The movement spread across the country as other communities initiated their own Women’s History Week celebrations the following year. Contributed by Linda Gbartie

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