LIBERIA: Women Want Traditional Marriage Captured In Constitutional Propositions

Liberian women have called for the issue of “Traditional Marriage” to be placed in the propositions voted upon during the Constitutional Review Committee Conference held in Gbarnga, before the 2016 National Referendum.

According to an Executive Mansion release, the women made the call in a statement they presented to President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf on Thursday, August 13, in Marshall, lower Margibi County during a One-Day Women’s Retreat organized by the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection in collaboration with WONGOSOL.

The retreat, which focused on issues affecting women, was attended by several women groupings from across Liberia, including women from political parties, NGOs, media, rural women, female ministers, civil society, legislative members and international partners.

In response, President Sirleaf assured that even if some of their concerns are not captured in the constitution, they can also be achieved through statutes and other legal means.

“There are a multiple ways, legal ways in which a country can achieve its objectives; the Constitution is paramount. This is why, you must be very careful about how you amend this, so it doesn’t become something you can change all of the time,” President Sirleaf said.

She noted that policies, strategies and programs are also ways through which the Constitution can be amended.

The Liberian leader indicated that while their concerns may have some legitimacy, Liberians should be very careful as to what is placed in the constitution as, according her, putting many things into the constitution can sometimes become meaningless, if they are not implementable to achieve their goals and objectives for the good of the country and its people.

President Sirleaf thank ed all the women for turning out en masse, especially rural women who left their various businesses to be part of the one-day retreat.

The document presented to President Sirleaf was read by Madam Ruth Caesar and presented by Gender and Development Minister Julia Duncan Cassell, who thanked the President for taking time off her busy schedule to join the women of Liberia in finding solutions to issues affecting women.

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