Liberia: 'Women's Liberation Depends On Men'

Madam Evelyn Moorehead (front, center) celebrates with some of her office staff on International Women's Day 2019 -Plan Int'l Country Director at Int'l Womens Day

Plan International-Liberia Country Director, Evelyn Moorehead, has spoken of the need to disabuse the traditional thought of men towards women so that the latter is relieved from thinking of being marginalized, wherein some of the men have harbored the sentiment that women are "second class people."

"The minds of our male counterparts need to be transformed, because our liberation as women rely on some of the men's renewed mindsets," Madam Moorehead said.

She made the statement on Friday, March 8, 2019 in Monrovia during program marking the celebration of this year's International Women's Day (IWD). The program was held under the theme, "Think Equal, Build Smart, Innovate for Change."

International Women's Day is celebrated on March 8 every year and is a focal point in the movement for women's rights. After the Socialist Party of America organized a Women's Day on February 28, 1909 in New York, the 1910 International Socialist Woman's Conference suggested a Women's Day be held annually.

This year's celebration theme focuses on innovative ways in which women can advance gender equality and empowerment, particularly in the areas of social protection systems, access to public services and sustainable infrastructure, etc.

"My voice counts; allow me to participate in decisions that concern me," a little girl with big dreams grow up to become a woman with vision has said believing that an empowered girl is an empowered nation.

"Innovative approaches that disrupt (business as usual) are cardinal to removing structural barriers, and ensuring that no woman, no girls are left behind," global women rights campaigner has said.

Madam Moorehead added, "I do not stand before you as country director for Plan International Liberia, but to join my voice with thousands of women across the world for gender equality; solidarity for those innovative, and inspiring young women and girls, who are going through all forms of violence, including rape, sexual and gender-based violence and equal space."

She encouraged the men to continue the fight together with women, and stand side by side for gender equality for women and girls in homes, communities, school and nationally.

Madam Moorehead: "I have always believed that women's rights are human rights, but my being in the country has opened my eyes to many challenges that women go through, and makes me understand what Plan International and partners to the government need to go through to see the necessary change that Liberia deserves."

She said men should understand that women show emotion only, because they have the passion of wanting to see a balanced world together with men.

"I know that you (men) will always stand for women's rights; that is why you have been so supportive to the celebration this year's International Women's Day," Madam Moorehead said.

Naomi Saydee, coordinator, Joint UN Program on Rural Women and Economic Empowerment, said IWD is important for women, "because they have achieved a lot," making reference to former President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, who became Africa's First Female President.

Madam Saydee said men must see women as partners not ravel, because women can do better than what some of the men think.

She added, "Women, let us keep raising our voices above our challenges, because we have a lot of issues to address as women."

Madam Saydee said to support and bring rural women on par with some of their colleagues, the UN Joint program has benefited over 5000, and helped them build a positive profile, make them impactful and stand for their rights.

She said for women to be successful, it is important that they let go of harmful traditional practices and try to balance for better and break the barriers that have kept women in the 'backyard' for many years.

Madam Saydee added, "We want to say thank you to those women who broke those barriers that brought us where we are when it comes to women's rights, advocacy, and empowerment."

Friday's ceremony was characterized by honors being bestowed on some women, including Victoria Kaiquah, Business Development Coordinator Plan International and Mary Koiquah, the only female driver at Plan International. Others included Evelyn Johnson and Cecelia Fafana.

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