The Women NGOs Secretariat of Liberia (WONGOSOL) in collaboration with its network organizations has petitioned and also congratulated President Joseph Nyuma Boakai and Vice President Jeremiah Kpan Koung, the Unity Party, and its collaborating parties for their election during the 2023 General and Presidential Elections.
“President Boakai, the women of Liberia would like to use this medium to bring to your attention the numerous challenges the women of Liberia face, particularly inequalities and proportionality in leadership and decision-making at all levels” according to the Executive Director of WONGOSOL Eather Davis Yango.
Madam Yango made the petition Monday as President Boakai was inaugurated at the Capitol building in Monrovia.
She stated that women in Liberia have expressed their interest in having more gender balance in appointed positions.
“We hope that your Government will be able to commit and deliver on its obligations to regional and international instruments and to Liberian women to promote legal and policy reforms” She added.
“We hope that you will make a minimum of 30% women in your cabinet with a view towards gender balance at all levels of appointment within the executive branch” She stressed.
According to Madam Yango, We hope that you will consider carefully also the position of Gender Minister, as there is a great need for a minister who can unite the women’s movement and mobilize women towards a more peaceful, democratic and prosperous country.
She added that women comprise just 4-6% of Liberia’s chieftaincy positions from the general town chief to the paramount chief and are similarly underrepresented at the level of township and district commissioners and district and county superintendents/development superintendents.
“We implore you to do your utmost to appoint more women to these positions,” She said.
She maintained that women’s movement organizations and networks stand ready to support you in identifying suitable candidates for appointed positions at local and national level.
“Liberian women are deeply concerned at the persistence of harmful traditional practices, patriarchal attitudes and deep-rooted stereotypes regarding the roles and responsibilities of women and men” Madam Yango noted.
According to her, to promote more transformative changes for gender equality and women’s empowerment, we implore your administration to commit to supporting legislative reform to address the issue of women’s underrepresentation, women’s sexual and reproductive health and rights.
” The electoral reform bill and the Public Health Bill are two key pieces of Legislation which could help address women’s marginalization from politics and public life and provide women with more reproductive choices and freedoms, as well as reduce maternal mortality” She asserted.
Madam Yango argued that Institutional reforms and appropriate investment are also sorely needed to address the scourge of violence against women and girls in this country, prevent violence and end the culture of impunity for acts of violence against them, adding that 60% of Liberian women and girls have experienced physical violence, almost 10% have experienced sexual violence and cases of femicide appear to be on the increase.
“We also know how important agricultural reform will be to this administration and hope that policies and programs will include a specific focus on empowering rural women and women in agriculture and the agricultural value chain” She emphasized.
She pointed out that the need to conduct a nationwide reconciliation after the 2023 General and Presidential Election is paramount taking into consideration the dissemination of misinformation and Dis-information during and after the elections, which has the propensity to disrupt the fragile peace we now enjoy.
“Therefore, as we transition to a new leadership, we commit to remain peaceful, we reaffirm our commitment to uphold the rule of law and work closely with the government to ensure that the Liberian Women’s Agenda is promoted.”