The 2nd edition of the annual National Young Women and Girls Conference under the auspices of the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection started on July 18, 2018 at the Monrovia Vocational Training Center on Somalia Drive.
The conference which runs from July 18-20, 2018 at the MVTC in Monrovia will bring together young women and girls from Liberia’s 15 counties.
This year’s celebration is under the theme: “Empowering Young Women and Girls to take Initiatives and Stand Up for Their Rights”. The conference aims at enhancing the effectiveness of efforts to reduce the numbers of deprived girls and young women and thereby catalyzing change for communities, the broader society and the economy.
The National Young Women and Girls Conference is an annual program designed by the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection and its partners to afford young women and girls the platform to gather and discuss issues affecting them in their respective communities and develop concrete action plans aimed at addressing those issues.
Among the key objectives of the gathering is to increase young women and girls’ knowledge to make better decisions, take on leadership roles and avoid risky behavior as well as increase young women and girls’ capacity to access information on sexual reproductive, educational, cultural and economic rights.
Looking at the current situation of adolescent girls and young women in Liberia, they face multiple challenges including early sexual activity, which often results in pregnancy, sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) and child marriage.
The lack of access to information, on issues bordering around girls sexual and reproductive rights, comprehensive sexuality education, civic participation, and economic livelihood opportunities are among topics discussed at the three-day conference.
During the three-day conference, activities include panel discussions on adolescent sexual and Reproductive health and Rights as well as discussions with Inspiring female leaders talking about the challenges they faced and how they have worked towards overcoming them and realizing their goals.
The conference targets a total of 200 participants’ mostly young women and girls between ages 10-24 years from across the 15 counties of Liberia. They comprise a mixture of college students, high school students, out of school girls, the physically challenge, girls from rural and urban communities, among others.
The conference will conclude with a communiqué containing key actions to be implemented by relevant stakeholders to prevent risks and address issues affecting young women and girls.