UN Women has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Orange GSM and Rural Women to economically empower rural women through mobile money transactions.
UN Women is a non-governmental organization serving Rural Women and works along with the Ministry of Gender, Children & Social Protection.
Speaking at the signing ceremony over the weekend, the partnership coordinator of UN Women, Fobrice Laviolette, said the program will strengthen women entrepreneurs in mobile banking.
He said empowering women contributes to building a sustainable community and also contributes to educating their children and meeting the needs of their families.
Laviolette said UN Women strongly believes that with Orange mobile money, rural women can actively access and manage financial services and business opportunities because the history of women, especially in mobile banking, has increased as technology gets more accessible to women around the world.
He said UN Women strongly hopes that the program will improve the livelihood of rural communities and expose them to new skills that will make an impact on their businesses.
The Country Representative of UN Women, Marie Goreth Nizaigama, said they are grateful to Orange Liberia for the partnership to empower rural women.
Nizaigama said the program is a part of a global effort to support rural women in the context of sustaining their businesses in order to improve and increase their income. She said they want rural women to be self-supporting when they have access to finance, which will be implemented through Orange Liberia mobile banking services.
She further indicated that ensuring women access to money will help reduce harmful traditional practices and will also help to stop violence against women and girls.
In a brief remark, the national coordinator of Rural Women at the Ministry of Gender, Naomi Saydee, said she is very happy for the initiative that will help women buy goods and get information on the cost of products they sell through mobile banking.
Saydee said the Ministry of Gender believes that the economic empowerment of women is important to Liberia’s development.
“If you empower a woman, you empower her household, her community and the nation at large. Her husband is relaxed and her children are given the opportunity to be useful in society,” she said.
The national coordinator said with the use of mobile banking, rural women will no longer take bags of money to purchase goods and their finances will be protected from robbers.
The president of Rural Women, Ma Kebbeh Monger, said the program will be very helpful and thanked Orange for the partnership.
Ma Kebbeh said with mobile banking women will be able to make fast profits and develop their small businesses.
In response, the vice president of Orange Liberia, William Saamoi, said the GSM company is committed to empowering both men and women because they believe that everyone is important in society.
Saamoi promised to work with rural women and improve their businesses.