— Commissioner George W. Howe Jr. Tells Trainees-
George W. Howe Jr., Commissioner of Liberia’s Governance Commission says responsive budgeting and planning is achievable when society includes marginalized groups particularly women to participate in the economic, social, and political activities across the country.
“The inclusion of marginalized groups into our governance system can only be achieved when we prioritize the mainstreaming of their concerns and perspectives in all national policies and programs,” Commissioner Howe said.
Gender mainstreaming is the public policy concept of assessing the different implications for people of different genders of any planned policy action, including legislation and programmes in all areas and levels.
Speaking at the opening session of the Training of Trainers workshop on ‘Gender Responsive Planning and Budgeting for local government Administrators\Technicians in Ganta City, Nimba County, Commissioner Howe noted that cultural and traditional practices in Liberia have continued to sustain gender inequality with the perceptions that women are subordinate to men.
“These practices and misperceptions are pronounced in both public and private institutions and have resulted in persistently unfair treatment of women and other marginalized groups in the workplace,” Commissioner Howe continued.
According to him, such practices are unacceptable and must be reversed. “In this regard, I am totally convinced that this all-important workshop marks the beginning of the transformation of our social and economic policies focusing on gender mainstreaming to promote accountability and transparency in national development planning and programs.”
Furthermore, Commissioner Howe revealed that chapter Six of the Local Government Act of 2018 is devoted to gender mainstreaming in local governments. “Local governments shall take proactive measures to promote gender equality and women empowerment at all levels and in all areas of local government administration.”
Additionally, he said the act promotes equal access to participation of women and men in decision-making, including minorities and people with disabilities in recruitment, established committees, and local government service.
In the Act, according to Commissioner Howe, government is committed to ensuring gender equality and women empowerment at all levels through participatory representation, protection and capacity development. “Protecting the equal rights of women and girls and enhancing their security from gender-based violence.”
Also, he said gender mainstreaming in development planning can help reverse discrimination by identifying and rectifying discriminatory practices within both public and private institutions.
“This Training of Trainers Workshop on Gender Responsive Planning and Budgeting is a clear manifestation that the government of Liberia is committed to promoting transparency and accountability in the governance process of our country,” Commissioner Howe added.
He called on participants to work collectively with the physically challenged to enable them participate in local government decision-making and to user-friendly, physical infrastructures. “The physically challenged must have equal access to employment and social services and government programs are children-friendly and responsive to the needs of orphans and abandoned children, elderly people and persons mentally challenged.”
At the same, Commissioner Howe used the event to thank the Ministry of Internal Affairs and partners for the workshop. “We are also grateful to our donor partners for their continued support to the government of Liberia.”