The Inquirer (Monrovia)

14 December 2012

Liberia: Women Enhance Capacity for Participation in Politics

The Deputy Minister of Gender and Development, Andrew Telmeh said women cannot fight the battle of gender equality alone; they need the help of men. Speaking at the opening of a three-day Civil Society Organization and Media workshop that is being held at the Ministry of Gender and Development, Minister Telmeh said men should join the women to help women win the battle of gender equality.

According to him, men are afraid that if women have equal participation in government and the society, women will become independent and powerful because if they become independent they will help the men a lot.

The representative from the Women NGO Secretariat, Grace Scotland Briamah said the workshop is about teaching women how to move forward; how to strategize for women to stay at the full front. She said Civil Society should be the one driving the force of women and making sure that women have equal participation as men.

United Nations Development Program acting Head of Program, Nessie Golokai said women being in politics and development is very important. She said the two focus points are skills and strategized how women can work along with the media.

In 1946 a sub commission on the Status of Women was appointed as a subsidiary body to the UN Commission on Human Rights, to support the commission members on issues regarding women's rights. The sub commission later became a commission in its own right through the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) which was further strengthened through the adoption of CEDAW, the convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against women in 1979.

While its predecessor, the convention on Political Rights of Women, from 1952, dealt specifically with women's political rights to participate in election and to vote, CEDAW had a more broad ranged approach to women's rights. It took thirteen years to adopt the convention from its first draft in 1966 up to the adoption in 1979. Today, 168 member states have ratified the text.

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