Liberia: Giving Women Voice - Kvinna Till Kvinna Holds Women 8th Consultation Meeting

Monrovia — Liberian women from 15 counties gathered for a two-day consultation meeting aimed at empowering women and increasing their political participation.

The "open and intergenerational" dialogue organized by Kvinna till Kvinna (KtK) foundation also focused on identifying barriers to women political participation which includes economic barriers and gender power relations and social norms.

The participants brainstormed on opportunities and ways to overcome them.

KtK Foundation is a Swedish-based international organization that officially opened its office in Liberia in 2011.

KtK said women's participation in decision-making, at various levels and in different sectors of society, is fundamental to achieve gender equality, which in turn contributes to more democratic and peaceful societies.

The Swedish organization said promoting gender equality from the bottom-up, on supporting women and women-led organizations as agents for change, and on fostering their unity through creating safe spaces for exchange and networking remains a priority.

Mari Paz Ortega, KtK Country Representative, said the "positive impact of women in politics is undeniable".

"Research shows that when more women are elected for office, they tend to prioritize policies and interventions that emphasize the quality of life, education, health, and other development areas," She narrates.

Ms. Ortega hopes that the consultative meeting serves as a platform for inspiration and exchange of ideas for increasing connections for women from Liberia.

Marie Goreth, UN Women Country Representative, added that "The 2011 UN General Assembly resolution on Women's political participation noted that women in every part of the world continue to be largely marginalized from the political sphere, often as a result of discriminatory laws, practices, attitudes and gender stereotype, and due to low levels of education, lack of health care poverty."

According to her, 2020 will be a critical year for the realization of gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls as the global community will mark its 25th anniversary of the fourth world conference on women and adoption of the Beijing Declaration.

Rivercess County's District One Representative Rosana Schaack serving as one of the speakers urged women to "make determination and design strategies" that will be different from other strategies.

She said it is time that women have self-confidence as they strive for political seats.

Madam Schaack attributed the defeat of women in political participation to lack of preparation, lack of finances, integrity, and networking.

Ms. Martha Karnga of Grand Bassa County and Bong County senatorial Aspirant Dorothy Tooman also served as speakers.

They showcased different examples of women's personal stories in reaching leadership positions.

Kvinna till Kvinna expects the just ended forum, where women from urban and rural communities, in leadership positions at the national level and those leaders and aspirants at the grassroots level; and women of different ages, can come together and discuss issues of common concern.

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