The Angie Brooks International Center (ABIC) on Wednesday, April 16, celebrated its 5th anniversary, with a call to renew the dynamism in the promotion of gender equality, peace and security both nationally and internationally.
The coordinator of the Center, Cllr. Yvette Chesson Wureh, said “As the organization celebrates the achievement of half a decade of existence, there is a need to evaluate and assess the gains made to gender equality, peace and security in the region, especially in Liberia, with a call for renewed energy to face the challenges ahead.”
Cllr. Wureh stated the celebration would be observed with the hosting of its 3rd annual lecture series in the Monrovia City Hall ballroom under the topic: “Liberian Women’s Political Participation.”
According to Cllr. Wureh, the Minister of Gender and Development, Madam Julia Duncan Cassel, will address the forum on the role of her ministry in attaining greater women’s political participation ahead of the forthcoming electoral process.
Also, Judge Emma Shannon Walser, the first female Circuit Court Judge of Liberia, will chair the panel of politicians comprising female senators to further discuss the forum’s topic.
Vice President Joseph N. Boakai will lead an array of officials to grace the occasion.
Former Sierra Leonean Ambassador to Liberia, Mrs. Marie Jilo Barnett, will share her view on the topic as a special guest at the event.
“As part of the celebration, a day-long youth program has been planned in collaboration with the Gender and Development Ministry. The program will focus on the ongoing mentoring of the next generation of leaders,” said Cllr. Wureh.
The ABIC Coordinator added, “While we admit to gains on the part of government, it is worth noting that despite the level of work thus far, the extent of gender inequalities in Liberia in regards to status, region, rural\urban areas, and traditional cultures remains a serious concern.”
“We must face the hard truth by admitting the overall position of women in various sectors of Liberia is still appalling. Maternal mortality remains high, and the enrollment of women in formal education, especially in rural areas, is still low. Overall female representation and political participation remains low and below expectation,” she said.
The ABIC boss furthered that it is worth noting that the battle is not over, as renewed dynamism and consolidated efforts from appropriate stakeholders, including women’s groups, and collaborating civil society partners can realize a far better prospect for the country and its people.
“At the launch of ABIC in March 2009,” Cllr. Wureh said, “President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf promised to set up a center for the empowerment of rural women in honor of Chief Suah Koko [Suacoco].”
Chief Suah Koko was a renowned Liberian female Chief, who contributed immensely in assisting the government of Liberia’s expansion drive to areas in Bong, Lofa, Nimba and Grand Gedeh.
Since the pronouncement by the President, ABIC has committed to support the establishment and construction of the Chief Suah Koko Center in Bong County.
ABIC processed all the legal paper work for the center, which is situated on the campus of Cuttington University in Bong County.
She thanked President Sirleaf and other partners for their support and said that the center will be dedicated later this month.
ABIC for Women’s Empowerment, Leadership, and Development, International Peace and Security was established on March, 8, 2009, in Monrovia.