By Omari Jackson
The Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection in collaboration with the Women Legislative Caucus of Liberia and the Civil Society Organizations have begun a short-and long-term dialogue with the women of Liberia on suggestions made by the Women Legislative Caucus of Liberia (WLCL) in strengthening women's engagement to enhance information dissemination, partnership and harmony.
The beginning of the dialogue which brought together several women and women groups of Liberia convened under the theme "In Union Strong Success is Sure: Women No Turning Back."
The three-day women dialogue retreat was held in Tubmanburg, Bomi County from October 5-7, 2018.
At the dialogue retreat, out of which a resolution was drawn, the women of Liberia discussed the current priorities of the national women agenda and legislation concerning gender responsive bills; some of which are still lingering at the Legislature.
Some of the gender responsive bills that emerged under the discussions were the Affirmative Action/Women quotas; Domestic Violence/Female Genital Mutilation; Rape Law; Women's Land Rights (popularization and utility); Local Government Act; Legal Aid Law as well as the national gender policy and action plans.
The aim of the retreat was meant to build partnership and solidarity and strategically engage other women in mobilizing for inclusive participation in national, sub-national, local politics and development priorities.
Bomi County Inspector, J. Edwin Gould, welcomed the women and emphasized that women cannot stand without the support of men, thereby advising women to put more effort at strengthening advocacy in policy making.
He applauded the women who participated to ensure that their voices are heard on the issues that affect them as this would go a long way to influence the decisions of the government and lawmakers so that together they look into these issues and find a remedy to solving them.
The UN Women Country Director, Marie N. Goreth, commended the Ministry for organizing such program in bringing women from various sectors to discuss women's agenda as she emphasized that the UN Women will give more priorities to women issues by working with the government to solve those issues.
Madam Goreth admonished the women to support each other as they are the custodians of their own stories by developing their profiles and she also encouraged the rural and market women to be involved in agricultural activities promising that the UN Women will involve more rural women and support them in accessing markets.
She further emphasized on women's political participation; pointing out that UN Women is working towards involving more women in politics and that her organization will continue to support other partners in solving the issues concerning Liberian women.
Meanwhile, the Chairperson of the National Civil Society of Liberia, Frances Deigh Greeves, presented a resolution in the form of short-term and long-term recommendations from the women of Liberia to the Minister of Gender, Children and Social Protection, Williametta Saydee-Tarr at the close of the dialogue retreat.
Receiving the resolution, Minister Saydee-Tarr appreciated the participants and urged them to continue working in collaboration with the Ministry in order to ensure a steadfast commitment while, at the same time, she urged the women to push forward and support each other, noting that the government alone cannot find remedy to all the issues affecting the women of Liberia.
She expressed her profound gratitude to the participants for their patience in deliberating on the issues that affect women and promised the participants that all recommendations made will be taken into consideration, a press release said.