By: R. Joyclyn Wea

Monrovia-March-12-TNR:On International Women’s Day (IWD), a diverse crowd of men and women flocked to the Ellen Johnson Sirleaf Ministerial compound over the weekend. 

The IWD2024 ceremony was attended by the UN in Liberia, ECOWAS, members of the diplomatic community, officials from government ministries and agencies, women’s organizations, and civil society, among others.
The speakers emphasized the value of bolstering gender-responsive budgeting and investing in women. Comfort Lamptey, UN Women-Liberia Representative spoke at the occasion and asked for increased funding to assist women’s empowerment.
According to her, accounting for women’s contributions to the national budget has a significant positive impact on people’s way of life.

Citing data that is currently available, she stated that a greater number of women are living in poverty and that the government should show a strong political commitment to empowering women by providing support to organizations that do so. She emphasized that the government must work twice as hard to fund programs designed to benefit Liberian women.

As the keynote speaker at the national IWD2024 commencement, Kartumu Yarta Boakai, First Lady of Liberia expresses confidence in the government’s ability to advance women in decision-making and urges greater investment in women as a step toward putting the nation on the path to prosperity.

“My husband has passed his task over to me today showing that I am his voice speaking on his behalf, it just goes to say that the best man for the job sometimes is a woman.” This year our theme “Invest in women, accelerate progress” calls us to action to invest in the woman is to invest in a nation,” First Lady Boakai.

At the moment, Liberia’s new president Joseph Boakai has made a total of 237 appointments including to ministerial portfolios, 180 males (76%) and 57 women (24%), according to UN-Women and Sister-Aid Liberia 2024 data.

Boakai assures that the government will not rest until women are put at the front of decision-making walking parallax with the men.

The Liberian first lady lauded women’s rights campaigners for standing up for women in the country. She said the role played has opened the eyes of Liberian women to many governance issues considered for men. She particularly praises former president Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and Laymah Gbowee for setting the bar high and being inspirational to thousands of others.

Boakai gives the nation’s women confidence that the government is dedicated to allowing them to enhance their standard of living. Based on the caliber of appointments made to women in the next administration, she claimed the government had already started to take important actions.

“As we reflect on the sacrifices and success of women throughout our history we are reminded of potential Liberian women. Boakai continues: “Our victory for gender parity is eco in our madam Ellen Johnson Sirleaf Africa’s first female president alongside madam Leymah Gbowee of Liberia, these women like many people and among us have paved the way toward a future where our daughters can dream without boundaries.”

Minister of Gender Gbeme Horace-Kollie acknowledged the contributions made by women to maintaining peace in the nation. According to her, women in Liberia have battled for peace and democracy throughout the years and would continue to do so.
Kollie urges women to keep up their strong dedication to elevating women’s issues and challenges, as well as their high level of consistency. She claimed that if women speak up together, they can demand answers to the issues they face.
Liberian women have been urged by ECOWAS Ambassador to Liberia Josephine to take the initiative and elevate their voices. If women do not take action and resolve the problems they face daily, the discussion about the problems they face will never end, according to her.

She expressed deep appreciation on behalf of the ECOWAS commission to the women of Liberia for playing a role in keeping the peace.

“As women let us remember to empower our voice otherwise that issue will remain perpetual.”

In addition to elevating the voices of women, she said, the day should be utilized to eradicate prejudice that impedes gender equality and to inspire all women to study the contributions made by women to Pan-Africanism throughout history.

The overall objective of this year’s IWD is to leverage the existing investment opportunities for women and girls and to create an enabling environment to enhance women’s access to financial, socioeconomic, and political inclusion in national development.

The day created a platform for heightening efforts that seek to discover additional empowerment opportunities for women and girls, and the promotion of gender equality, as well as rallying support to increase women’s participation in leadership and decision-making roles in governance and at all levels.

International Women’s Day is a global campaign commemorated every year in the month of March, highlighting the amazing social, cultural, economic, and political achievements of women, while also campaigning for greater progress towards gender equality at all levels.  

The Month of March is being historically recognized as Women’s Month, thus promoting activities and advocacies that exclusively focus on women’s agenda and a way forward in tackling women’s issues and how to empower them in the coming years.

The International Women’s Day (IWD) grew out of efforts in the early 20th century to promote women’s rights, with the first IWD gathering in 1911 supported by over a million people. This is a Moment for every woman regardless of our political affiliation, tribal background, social and economic status.

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