Gbowee Peace Foundation-Africa Ends First Lesson Learn Summit

... Presents Research Findings

MONROVIA-As part of the project’s first phase, the Feminist Policy Lab summit was held by the Gbowee Peace Foundation Africa.

A pilot program run by the Gbowee Peace Foundation called Africa’s Feminist Policy Lab teaches young women how to write policy papers on variety of topics that affect women and girls.

Twelve young women presented the results of their research on variety of topics, including how sexual harassment in the educational system and how Liberian hospitals have become prisons for new moms.

Providing the overview of the project, Dr. Tanya Ansahta Garnett, a Gender Specialist, stated that the feminist policy lab’s objective is to persuade the Liberian Government to take a position on gender issues or any other matters pertaining to gender equality.

“We wanted to consider the current gender issue, teach young women research and communication skills, and think about how to write about it for policymakers,” she said.

The project has four main goals, including teaching young women some fundamental skills, increasing their knowledge of feminism and activism, and ensuring that they are capable of conducting research.

Phase two of the project, in her opinion, is concerned with gathering data and writing it up. She said that during this phase, fellows identified major topics, research questions, and data collection instruments before heading out into the field to gather their data.

“In the last stage, we will compile and public the information they gathered and listen to them as they present the findings of their investigation,” she added.

The Gbowee Peace Foundation Africa’s Chairperson of the board, Cllr. Deweh E. Gray gave the opening remarks. She praised the Madre Foundation for its support of the project and noted that since its founding by a Nobel Laureate in 2012, it has offered exceptional educational opportunities for women and youth in three program areas.

She talked about the transformative program for education for peace and development and how community empowerment spurs creativity.

Majority of the beneficiaries are from Liberia, Madam Gray continued, adding that such initiatives have directly impacted and benefited over 45,000 women and youth from Liberia, Ghana, Nigeria, and Mozambique.

She claimed that more than 150 women and young people who received the Gbowee Peace Foundation Africa scholarship received Bachelor’s, Master’s, and doctoral degrees. She said the most recent graduates were four of their scholars, with two of them receiving high honors from Cuttington University.

The goal, according to her, is to pay attention to the young researchers as they give the results of a lesson from the foundation’s feminist Policy lab, a pilot program that will be introduced in July 2023.

According to her, the project devoted to research on gender softening is a collaborative space where researchers come together to develop and evaluate policies from a feminist perspective with the aim of addressing the systemic inequality and barriers faced by women and other marginalized groups.

This feminist policy lab is anticipated to be duplicated across the nation and act as a catalyst for change, she added, assisting in the development of inclusive policies that address gender-based discrimination and advance an equitable society.

The 2011 Nobel Peace Prize winner and Founder of the Gbowee Peace Foundation Africa, Madam Leymah Gbowee said she has always been encouraged to dream big and work to make sure that those ambitions come true when she gave the background of the lesson learn summit.

According to her, thirty years ago during her youthful age, she visited the JFK at which time she was due to have her first child at the JFK Medical Center when she came in close contact with a teenager who was held hostage by doctors at the hospital for her failure to settle her bills.

She claimed that after experiencing sadness, something prompted her to become more deeply involved in women’s concerns and start activities that supported women and young girls.

I’m not blaming anyone, but the inability to document activities is one of the reasons why women’s work can’t advance as far as it could.

“There is an African adage that says, “Until the dear learns how to write, the narrative will favor the hunter.” I’m looking for a method for this next generation of women that we are teaching and mentoring to have a moment where they can write their own stories. I support this because I genuinely don’t want this for these young kids.”

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