By David A. Yates
A one-day training to strengthen the abilities of participants to engage in political debates, lobby and develop strategic advocacy techniques in the Legislature is expected to kick off today in Monrovia.
The training, arranged by the Organization for Women and Children (ORWOCH), will bring together female aspirants and Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) with support from OXFAM and the government of The Netherlands.
The theme is “Enhancing Women’s Capacity as Rights Holders to become Change Agents in the Prevention of Gender-Based Violence and Increased Democratic Participation.”
Ms. Bowoulo T. Kelly, the program manager, told this newspaper yesterday in Monrovia that the training targets young female politicians, decision makers and heads of civil society organizations at the central and local levels who will champion the prevention of violence against women and be role models for women’s participation in democratic processes.
According to her, a data from the United Nations Population Division shows that although women make up 49.60 percent of Liberia’s population, only 11 percent of them are in parliament. Thus, the percentage of women in Liberia is critical to changing the paradigm of decision making in the country, she said.
In recent years, however, she said there have been efforts by partners and the government to ensure that marginalized groups such as women, youth, and the disabled are included in the national planning processes.
She said the overall objective is to support the participation of women in politics and decision-making and by creating an environment conducive for their meaningful participation at all levels.
Ms Kelly said her organization focuses on championing the cause of women’s increased participation in decision making, and the reduction of sexual and gender based violence.