28 January 2013

Liberia: 'Women Cry Less Important' -Nobel Women Initiative Delegate Voice Out

United States of America (USA) 1998 Nobel Laureate, Madam Jody Williams has decried the alleged 'less important' attitude the Liberian government attached to women activities and problems here.

Addressing a news conference in Monrovia last Thursday, Madam Williams said, "Though, there are beautiful laws on the book to protect women rights, the cry of women have been proven to be the less important, not only in Liberia, but other parts of the World."

She called on the government to embark upon activities that would empower women and develop communities. This she believes, when undertaken by government, will bring sanity and dignity to all Liberian women.

Speaking further, the 1998 Nobel Laureate criticized the construction of digitalized electronic billboards across Monrovia, either directly or indirectly by the Liberian government.

Madam Williams averred that the resources used to erect those billboards could be directed to the provision of safe drinking water for women and children living in slum communities.

The USA Nobel Laureate was a part of a four member Nobel Women Initiative (NWI) who paid a six day working visit to Liberia.

Led by one of Liberia 2011 Nobel Laureate, Leymah Gbowee; laureates Jody Williams, Mairead Maguire and  Shirin Ebadi visited the country last week and obtain first hand information relative to the workings of women organizations, community leaders and government officials.

The NWI delegation also met with Federation of Liberian Youth (FLY), Liberian National Student Union (LINSU) leadership, Monrovia Central Prison and Saint Joseph Catholic Hospital in Monrovia.

The delegation also held discussion with President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and officials of the Ministry of Justice responsible for the prosecution of sexual and gender-based violence cases here.

As part of the NWI mandate which is to amplify voices of women working for peace around the World, the delegation is considering the enforcement of four issues, including support for grassroots women organizations, provision of transportation for community policing, healing the wounds of rape and sexual violence survivors and prioritizing a reform of Liberia's justice system.

The NWI has since departed Liberia and is attending the African Union Summit, after which they shall all return home.

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