6 March 2011

Liberia: Women Gear Up for International Women's Day Celebrations

President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, will beginning Monday, March 7, host the head of the United Nations Women, Michelle Bachelet, on the occasion marking the 100th anniversary of International Women's Day.

Madam Bachelet, the first female President of Chile arrived Sunday in Monrovia for the event, which will include a parade through the principle streets of Monrovia. The visit to Monrovia is her second, but the first since she assumed her new role as head of the new UN Agency. She participated in the International Women's Colloquium held in Liberia in 2008.

According to Executive Mansion release, Madam Bachelet will later hold separate discussions with President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and other prominent female leaders including officials of the Ministries of Gender, Foreign Affairs and State for Presidential Affairs.

The Head of the United Nations Women will also hold a Joint Press Conference with President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf later Monday afternoon at the Foreign Ministry in Monrovia, with the Minister of Gender and the Special Representative of the Secretary-General of the United Nations in attendance.

Meanwhile, the Liberian Government will later Monday afternoon bestow one of the country's highest distinctions - the Grand Band in the Star of Africa - on Madam Bachelet at the C.Cecil Dennis Auditorium in Monrovia.

The event will be followed by a reception hosted by the President in honor of the visiting Head of the United Nations Women. The SRSG, Heads of Diplomatic Missions, UN Agencies, Ministers, Members of the National Legislature and other leaders of Government are expected to attend the evening's reception.

As part of programs marking International Women's Day, the Liberian leader, along with Madam Bachelet and the SRSG will on Tuesday also participate in activities at the Antoinette Tubman Stadium. The event will involve Heads of UN Agencies, the Diplomatic Community and Women's Groups. The Head of the UN Women will serve as keynote speaker at the program which is expected to attract women from all walks of life.

Madam Bachelet is also slated to meet female ministers of Liberia, the Women Legislative Caucus, female heads of UN agencies, women NGO leaders and Senior Liberian women professionals.

The event will be followed by the launch of a Fund for Gender Equality at the Jorpeh Town Market in Sinkor as well as a reception at the Monrovia City to climax Tuesday's activities.

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