Thousands of Liberian women from across Government, civil society Organizations, Non-governmental Organizations and developmental partners celebrated International Women’s Day in grand style beginning with a parade through the principal streets of Kakata City , Margibi County. An indoor program at the Booker Washington Institute (BWI) climaxed the day.
The Global theme: Think Equal, Build Smart, Innovate for change and the National theme: Gender Equality for Innovative Change.
During the event Gender Children and Social Protection Minister Williametta Saydee-Tarr who officially welcomed the women, expressed gratitude to the Women of Liberia for the level of commitment and dedication in celebrating such a historic day.
According to her , the objective of taking the celebration to Kakata outside Monrovia was to demonstrate that the women of Liberia are all one .
She noted that the event is about every single woman and a child who is in Liberia. Not necessarily Monrovia, to allow them to be a part of such celebration.
She disclosed that the Ministry of Gender Children and social Protection will ensure that, the celebration of the international women day will be a continual process in the rural part of Liberia , emphasizing that such an event is part of the Ministry’s decentralization process of its major event on the issue of women empowerment and protection.
Madam Saydee-Tarr said the women of Liberia are going to work and formulate a new way of addressing those issues that have been affecting the growth and development of women, especially in the area of equality , violence against women, among others.
According to her the new approach of achieving gender equality has to do with all women to be a part of such programs, especially at the community levels, where the residents will be engaged on how to address those issues that are affecting women and girls.
Delivering the keynote address was Liberia first lady Clar Duncan-Weah who said the Government and people of Liberia have made significant progress towards fostering gender equality as evidence that laws have been passed by the National Legislature for the protection of the rights of a woman , and child as well as the inheritance law which gives property rights to woman, the rape law and the domestic violence act that is awaiting for the passage into law by the national legislature, among others .
The Liberia first lady further indicated that with all of those remarkable achievements can be attributed to the efforts by the women of Liberian, stressing that they have demonstrated commitment and taking concrete steps in connecting the society .
Madam Weah did not hold back to reflect on the challenges that the women have undergone and are stay undergoing in the fight against gender based violence, rape, harmful traditional practices .
She further extolled those women who have contested and succeeded at the level of the national legislature and are showing their leadership ability as well as other governmental sectors while other are engaged in advocacy for gender equality and women empowerment.
Madam Weah said women and men rights responsibilities and opportunities should not be based on their gender, noting that the rights of women and girls continue to be violated, quoting the United nations report that indicated that one in five women and girls between the ages of 15 and 49 have experienced physical and sexual violence by an intimate partner within 12 months period .
She further disclosed Liberian women have less education, health care ,property rights as compared to men in the Liberian society, noting that the women are always victims of violence that include rape, among others.
Also speaking was the United Nations Assistant secretary General and Resident Coordinator Yacoub said gender equality and women rights are fundamental to global progress on peace and security , human rights and sustainable development.
“we can only reestablished trust in institutions, rebuild development , solidarity and reap the benefits of diverse perspective by challenging historic injustices and promoting the rights and dignity of all,” Mr. Yacoub indicated.
He further disclosed that there has been remarkable progress on women rights and leadership in some areas but noted that those successes are far from completing.
The UN Boss said gender equity is fundamentally a question of how, noting we live in a man dominated world with a man dominating culture ,stressing that it is only when women rights can be seeing as the common objective which is a root to change that will benefit everyone will begin to shift the barrier by increasing the number of women as decision markers which is fundamental, he said