UN Resident Coordinator to GoL, Stakeholders
The United Nations Resident Coordinator to Liberia, Kingsley Amaning wants government and other stakeholders to ensure equal economic rights and opportunities for all.
While commending the Government for its commitment to promoting gender equality in the country, Amaning urged that environmental justice, equal participation in politics and decision making, justice and peace for all, access to sexual and reproductive health and rights and freedom from violence and discrimination are among the remaining issues GoL must pursue.
Mr. Amaning was speaking recently in Monrovia when the United Nations (UN) joined the Government of Liberia and gender equality champions in commemorating International Women’s Day.
This year’s International Women’s Day was commemorated under the global theme, “I am Generation Equality: Realising Women’s Rights” and the national theme ‘Women’s Rights for Generational Equality.’
The theme for this year’s campaign is significant because it is aligned with the UN’s new multi-generational campaign, ‘Generation Equality,’ which marks the 25th anniversary of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, the most progressive roadmap for the empowerment of women and girls, everywhere, said the UN official.
Mr. Amaning noted that although there has been great strides to achieve this goal, some challenges remain. “No single country has achieved gender equality due to multiple obstacles that remain unchanged because of stringent laws and culture,” he said.
In Liberia, women and girls still face violence, including sexual and domestic violence and harmful practices such as female genital mutilation. Women are still grossly underrepresented in decision-making positions and in the peace-building sector.
In the 2017 elections, women accounted for only 162 out of 1,054 candidates (16 percent). In addition, women occupy 9.7 percent of the 103 seats in the National Legislature (one out of 30 in the Senate and nine out of 73 in the House of Representatives).
Mr Amaning called on the Government and other stakeholders to tackle the persistent barriers that hinder the country from achieving gender equality despite the giant strides made. He urged everyone to unite and mobilize to end all forms of discrimination against women and girls.
“Everyone should raise awareness and advocate for the rights of women to participate in all spheres of life and mobilize action to enhance gender equality and address some of the existing challenges,” Mr Amaning urged.