Women representing several pro-women groupings from across the 15 political sub-divisions of the country are calling for the passage of key gender responsive legislations by the legislature.
They named the bills as the Affirmative Action or women Quotas, Domestic violence and Female Genital Mutilation bill; Legal Aid Law and the National Gender Policy and Action Plan.
The women made the call at a national dialogue organized by the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection in partnership with UN Women, the Women Legislative Caucus and civil society organizations recently.
The dialogue, which took place in Tubmanburg, Bomi County, was geared towards soliciting the participants’ suggestions that will facilitate their engagement in information dissemination, harmony and partnership; to build solidarity amongst themselves, and to mobilize support for inclusive participation in national, sub-national, political and development priorities.
The dialogue, which ran from October 5-7, was held under the theme: “In union strong success is sure; women no turning back”.
The women’s call followed the passage of a resolution at the close of the dialogue, which centered on the current priorities of the National Women Agenda and the Gender Responsive bills which, according to them, are still lingering at the legislature.
Speaking at the retreat, Bomi County Inspector J. Edwin Gould urged the women to place more emphasis on strengthening advocacy in policy-making.
Gould further lauded the women’s efforts in ensuring that their voices are heard on issues that have plagued them over the years, noting, “This will go a long way in influencing government’s decisions towards improving the wellbeing of women in Liberia.”
Earlier, UN Women Country Director, Marie N. Goreth, commended authorities of the Ministry of Gender for organizing such a unique program which seek to discuss and address issues affecting women in Liberia.
Madam Goreth then renewed her institution’s pledge to prioritize women issues by working with the government to help solve problems confronting women across the country.
Meanwhile, the chairperson of the National Civil Society of Liberia, Francis Greaves called for the enactment of the Domestic Violence bill into law and called for budgetary allocations to civil society organizations to enable them carry out awareness and sensitization campaigns on the danger of rape and other violence against women.
Greaves also recommended to Government to increase the participation of females in appointed and security sector positions amongst others by 50 percent.
In response, Gender Minister Williametta Piso Saydee-Tarr thanked the participants for their contribution and urged them to continue the collaboration with the ministry in order to ensure a steadfast commitment.
She urged them to push forward in supporting each other, noting that the government alone cannot find the solutions to all the issues affecting women in Liberia, but she, however, assured them that their recommendations will be given the needed attention by government.