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Women sign Communiqué Calling for the Advancement of Women and Girls

Women of Liberia have called on government and other leaders to prioritize gender equality in Liberia. In the Communiqué released at the climax of the International Women Day celebrations in Paynesville, the women, among other things, urged government to establish a gender monitoring office to ensure full implementation of laws, policies and instruments for the advancement of women.

The Communiqué also recommended the establishment of a national and international platform for leadership - building through mentorship for women and youths to serve as a buildup on the President’s Young Professional Program. It is anticipated that this Platform would help strengthen partnership and actions of women leaders at both national and community levels.

Other recommendations of the Communiqué include that government continues the process of legal reform that addresses the issues of inequalities in land ownership, access to finance and justice, etc,, and to establish mechanism to transfer experience and technological knowledge between older and younger generations and vice versa. The Colloquium’s Communiqué recommendations are all embedded in the mandate and objectives of the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection.   

The IWD was held on March 8, 2017 at the Samuel Kanyon Doe Sports Complex in Paynesville. In her opening remarks, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf noted that since the first launch of the International Women Colloquium in March of 2009, the women of Liberia have cultivated high spirits, and advancing the cause of women representations and decision making in every area including contemporary politics. President Sirleaf described celebrations of women nationally and globally as “a mark of women gains in the struggle for rights and gender equity.” President Johnson-Sirleaf pointed out that this year’s celebration is also evidence of women’s approval for the level of success in their professional engagements.

Thousands of women turned out this year to celebrate International Women Day held under the global theme: “Be Bold for Change”. The National Theme was “Women Bold in Change for a Better World.”

For her part Gender and Children Protection Minister, Julia Duncan Cassell described the gathering as a historic event for Liberian women and women of the world. Minister Cassell stressed that these gatherings are meant to promote peace, women leadership and women empowerment to build a wholesome functioning society with the participation of women.


In attendance of this year’s IWD celebrations in Liberia were prominent international women leaders including former Deputy Prime Minister and now Minister of the Presidency of the Kingdom of Spain and Co-Convener of the International Women Colloquium, Ms. Theresa Fernandes De La Vega, and Donatille Mukabalisa, Speaker of the Chambers of Deputies of Rwanda’s Parliament.


Madam Theresa Fernandes De La Vega applauded President Sirleaf for her outstanding leadership, describing the Liberian leader as a champion for women’s rights in Liberia (in particular), and Africa in general. Madam Donatille Mukabalisa also praised President Sirleaf and the Liberian people for the warm reception and hospitality accorded her during her visit to Liberia. She observed that “gender empowerment and gender equity are paramount to economic growth and development”. She also thanked President Sirleaf for her role in championing women development issues, describing the Liberian leader as a pride of women in Africa.


In support of the IWD program, ECOWAS ambassador to Liberia Ambassador Babatunde O. Ajisomo reiterated that International Women Day is a day set aside to celebrate women in recognition of their invaluable contributions to socio-economic and political development, and a stocktaking moment to assess the extent to which the challenges that confront women and impede their development potentials have been addressed.


Ambassador Ajisomo reminded the audience that “human development cannot be equitable, sustainable and holistic, unless it is cognizance of gender inequalities and the needs of women and men, girls and boys”.

ECOWAS has called on Member-States to take bold actions and initiatives to accelerate the pace of development by implementing commitments, policies and strategies in various Declarations, Protocols, Conventions and Treaties, at international, regional and national levels as well as address emerging challenges mitigating women’s economic empowerment.

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