The Minister of Foreign Affairs has received the Letters of Accreditation from the new United Nations Women Country Director, Ms. Marie Goreth Nizigama, a release from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has said.
The UN Women is an agency created by the United Nations General Assembly to enhance gender equality and promote the empowerment of women across the globe.
According to the release, the brief ceremony was held in the conference room of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Friday, July 14.
Minister Kamara welcomed the new country director and stressed that Liberia remains committed to improving the status of women, protecting their rights and encouraging their participation in all spheres of national endeavor.
She assured Ms. Nizigama of the ministry’s commitment and support in ensuring that her tour of duty in Liberia is productive and rewarding. Minister Kamara encouraged her to partner with relevant government ministries and agencies particularly, the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection to enhance the agency’s operations here.
She noted that although government is making efforts to address the plight of women in Liberia, there are still challenges at the national, regional and global levels in dealing with gender related matters. “Regional and global efforts have registered some tremendous progress in addressing gender issues, but there were still challenges which are determined by cultural and traditional barriers,” Minister Kamara stated.
She highlighted some of the issues which are impediments to dealing with rape cases, adding, “The difficulty in gathering evidence by the police and the courts due to cultural and traditional beliefs and implications, are some of the causes that leave perpetrators of rape and other violent crimes to go with impunity.”
She noted that irrespective of the numerous challenges, government is still making strides in addressing acts of violence affecting women under the President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf administration.
Madam Nizigama lauded the Liberian government and people for the many positive initiatives to promote the rights and welfare of women in the country.
She also hailed government for passing legislation that would provide support to and protect the rights of women and enhance gender equality, and thanked Liberia for the tangible programs government is implementing in the interest of women’s rights in all 15 counties.
While applauding Liberia’s efforts in eliminating the Ebola virus disease, she thanked the government for making strides in addressing other women’s rights issues, including maternal mortality, rape and acts of violence affecting women, especially challenges in addressing gender equality.
Ms. Nizigama assured Minister Kamara that her organization is here to enhance government’s efforts in addressing those critical issues that affect the plight of women, adding: “We will continue on the good platform of our predecessor to help government in implementing joint programs especially in identifying critical priority areas of support initiatives.”
She noted that as Liberia goes to the polls in October, she will work closely with the government and its partners to give support to women in advancing to leadership positions in the country and advocate for the implementation of policies that give more opportunities for women to advance in society, adding: “We are very committed to gender issues.”