11 April 2016

Liberia: Women Group Snubbed By Lawmakers

A group of women under the banner of Liberia Women Forum (LWF) were on Thursday, April 7, 2016 snubbed by lawmakers of the two houses of the Liberian legislature.

The women group, headed by its chairperson and other top executive members, had gone at the Capitol Building to present a position statement of the state of affairs of the country, especially issues bordering on women.

Located on Capitol Hill, Monrovia, the Capitol Building is the seat of the Liberian Legislature.

The group of women arrived at the Capitol in the late morning hot sun and waited for several hours, not a single lawmaker came to listen to their plight.

Notwithstanding, the group, through its President, Madam Gurly Gibson went on read the group's position statement.

Reading the position statement of the group, Madam Gibson pointed out that Liberian women have for too long been marginalized and continue to be marginalized, and as such, there is a need for joint effort that will ensure that the issues affecting women are tackled.

According to her, women, who are considered the backbone of every society, continue to be marginalized in Liberia, and as such, this has a great negative effect of the development agenda of the country.

The LWF head stressed the need for the empowerment of Liberian women, noting that the country's developmental initiatives cannot be achieved if issues affecting women are not tackled.

She disclosed that the aim and objective of the group is to ensure that women from all walks of life come together so that their voices can be heard collectively.

"We formed the Liberia Women Forum so that we can promote women's empowerment and economic issues; help remove our mothers, sisters and daughters from the streets into transitional homes and to enable them regain their dignity, and to provide socio-counseling help, and skills training and education support," explained Madam Gibson.

She urged Liberian women to get involved in public policy initiatives by engaging policy makers.

"And to my mothers, sisters, daughters, partners and friends of women's issues, we ask all of you to join and keep this women movement rolling in every neighborhood, school, religious institution, community, county, and in the diaspora," Madam Gibson urged.

Also speaking at the grounds of the Capitol Building, the Vice President of LWF, Madam Kardee Porte, said the group will continue to raise the conscience of Liberia women even if policy makers don't want to listen.

According to her, the group is resolved to create awareness among women to hold their votes come 2017 if the plights of women are not addressed or given due attention.

"We will hold our votes until the right policies are put in place that will address women's issues. We will also create awareness so that other women will join us in this process as well," said Madam Porte.

Madam Porte, who is also the Business Manager of the FrontPage Africa Newspaper, among other things called on the Government of Liberia (GoL) to ensure that justice is not selective, but rather dispense equally to all Liberians irrespective of sex, creed or religion.

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