As part of efforts to address some economic challenges of citizens in Suakoko District, Bong County, at least 119 widows including single mothers have received assorted food items value at (L$92,160.00). The items were donated through the kind courtesy of Locula Foundation, a not-for-profit organization in Liberia.
The distribution was done in observance of the International Women's Day which was celebrated on the 8th of March 2019, in partnership with the Suakoko Rural Women Organization. It was held under the theme: "Recognizing and Appreciating ALL Women Because All Women's Rights Are Human Rights."
During the event, the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Locula Foundation, Jerry Locula told the women, "Whether you are rich or poor, whether you speak English or not, whether you are living in the city or living in the village, whether you work in the office or you sell potato greens in the local markets; and, whether you hold bank account or not; all women, despite their socio-economic status, have equal rights not because they are women, but simply because they are human beings and have the same rights as men."
He said the organization recognized all women, regardless of whether they came from the far village of Gbornongalasue in Suakoko, Liberia or from the glamorous financial district of Manhattan in New York. All women past and present, he said, laid down the foundation and are primary stakeholders of International Women's Day.
Locula maintains that, for him personally, on this day, (International Women's Day), the attention of the world should be called to take concrete actions in order to recognize, respect and promote the rights of women other than just making speeches without concrete actions.
He stressed that International Women's Day is a day where men and boys from all walks of life have to stand up and support the women's rights agenda though positive actions. He also admonished fathers, sons, nephews and uncles of women to not wait for International Women's Day before they can respect women's rights, but at all times in their daily lives.
He noted that as part of legal instruments Liberia has for the protection and promotion of women's rights, he wants the national legislature to set a day aside through an act of legislation as National Women's Rights Day in Liberia to be celebrated as a National Holiday. "It doesn't have to be celebrated on March 8 as the United Nations does, but a particular day that all Liberians will take to campaign, crusade, celebrate, recognize, protect and promote women's rights," he pleaded.
According to him, pending that legislation, one of the best things Liberians can do to advance women's rights is to begin teaching boys to respect girls in their homes, families, communities, Mosques, Churches and the schools. "If boys can begin to respect the rights of girls at an early age, they will grow up respecting the rights of women at an older age," Mr. Locula said.
Meanwhile, at the end of the event, a cross-section of the participants, especially women, said that it was their very first time to attend an International Women's Day celebration and praised the Locula Foundation for the education and advocacy.
Every year, on March 8, the world celebrates International Women's Day (IWD), it was first organized and celebrated on February 28, 1909 in New York by the Socialist Party of America and since 1975; the United Nations has been celebrating the day. On March 2, 2019, prior to the event in Bong County, 30 women from different backgrounds benefited from the Locula Foundation's micro-finance loan project in Duazon, Mirgibi County.
The organization further thought it was important to celebrate with women in Suakoko Town for the first time in the town's history. The foundation was established in August 2018 with the purpose of empowering single mothers to enable small business and/or improve their small existing businesses for reasonable income generation.