Marie Goreth Nizigama, the UN Women Country Representative to Liberia, has reaffirmed her institution’s commitment to the Liberian government in promoting gender equality, and upholding women’s rights.
Nizigama said that it is impossible to achieve all of the Sustainable Development Goals without the empowerment of women and girls and enhancing gender equality since the SDGs depend on the achievement Goal 5.
Madam Nizigama called on the Government of Liberia and other stakeholders to ensure zero tolerance to violence against women and girls and uphold equal participation of women in politics and decision making.
“While women represent half of the Liberian population, yet they are still grossly underrepresented in politics, leadership and decision-making positions. Liberia ranks number 151 out of 193 in the world in female representation in parliament.”
The UN Women Country Representative made the statement recently when she spoke at a side event of the 65th Session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) for Liberia.
CSW is the principal global intergovernmental body exclusively dedicated to the promotion of gender equality and the empowerment of women. It is instrumental in promoting women’s rights, documenting the reality of women’s lives, measuring and communicating the progress made and shaping global standards on gender equality and the empowerment of women.
Responding to the national theme for Liberia’s CSW 65 Side event, “The Liberian Experience: Women sharing experiences on innovative ways of addressing violence against women and girls in achieving gender equality”, Nizigama further commended the government of Liberia for placing a spotlight on one contributing barrier to women’s full participation in public life, violence against women and girls in all forms.
She termed violence against women as a gross violation of women’s rights, emphasizing that violence negatively affects women’s general well-being, prevents them from fully participating in society. Nizigama added that such also disadvantages the country from benefiting diverse legislative and policy ideas.
“Therefore, the effects of violence are long-lasting and devastating not only to women but to societies that allow it to happen,” she Nizigama. “Let me also emphasize that the playing field is not equal as witnessed by increased incidences of violence against women in political life and elections which deliberately threaten women from participating.”
However, Nizigama lauded the efforts of the Liberian government through the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection, the National Elections Commission, civil society groups,and women’s movement for the progress made thus far on domestic violence, land rights, and local government.
She underscored the importance of the leading role of the Liberian Government, notably the Ministry of Gender, as well as other executive agencies, in promoting and advocating for inclusive political participation.
Meanwhile, the UN Women Country Representative used the occasion to call on the political parties to propagate the Protocols on Violence against Women in politics and endorse them to operationalize their utility and demonstrate commitment to zero tolerance to violence, discrimination and abuse of women and girls, leaving no one behind in Liberia.