24 June 2019

Liberia: Pres. Weah Promotes Women's Cause

President George Weah, who is also 'Feminist-in-Chief' of the nation, has been rallying support for the defense and protection of the rights of women and girls, an Executive Mansion release has said.

According to the release, President Weah described women and girls as indispensable parts in the social and economic advancement of any nation, and that no country can boast of sustainable development when women are left to languish behind their male counterparts.

The President made the statement when he officially launched First Lady Clar Weah's flagship 'She's You' movement June 20, 2019 at the Centennial Pavilion in Monrovia.

He stressed the importance of the initiative in giving women and girls a strong voice and a safe place in society.

The 'She's You' movement is the First Lady's strategic way of addressing the growing unfortunate plights women and girls are faced with in Liberia.

President Weah said it is impossible for any nation to enjoy successful and sustained development amid unbridled violence and abuse against women and girls. He said his government considers the welfare of women and girls as a national priority, and that conditions facing them are being addressed deliberately, and forcefully by his administration.

"The objectives of this program are complimentary to what the government is already doing to address the issues affecting women and girls," he said.

According to him, the involvement of women, girls and other marginalized groups in all sectors can contribute significantly to the sustainable development, economic growth, social transformation and political stability in the country.

He noted that development cannot succeed or be sustained if violence against women is embedded in the social fabric of society. The President said his government would remain focused in finding innovative ways to ensure that gender equality and the empowerment of women are advanced, particularly in the social protection system, access to public services and sustainable infrastructure.

He then thanked First Lady Clar Weah for undertaking such an innovative people-centered endeavor geared towards addressing the appalling and shocking conditions of women and girls.

President Weah said that his decision to commit to Madam Weah's selfless initiatives, is informed of his humble upbringing and tutelage by his grandmother.

"My commitment and dedication to this cause is also on personal level because, I was raised by a very strong woman, my grandmother, who taught me a deep and longstanding appreciation and respect for the value of women and girls, and the important role they play in our society," the President said.

He used the occasion to share fond memories of First Lady Weah's passion and altruistic characteristics for advancement of the people of Liberia, dating back to the horrible moments of the civil war.

Based on his knowledge of the goodness of the First Lady, the president added, "I am sure you are not doing this for your own glory or reward. You have always shown compassion for the less-fortunate, disadvantaged and underprivileged."

"Early last year, after you visited a number of orphanages and homes for the elderly in and around Monrovia, you told me how sad you were for the poor conditions old people were enduring. You told me you were shocked and appalled. You told me, 'George, how can people live in conditions like that? We have to do something for them.'"

President Weah said that Madam Weah's experience from the field around the country inspired her to think about constructing a home for the elderly in Grand Bassa County, which is almost completed, and will soon be ready for use by the beneficiaries.

Hundreds of Liberian women and girls and international guests participated in the launch of the First Lady's humanitarian movement, She's You. The program started with official parade on the principal streets of Monrovia.

The First Ladies of Sierra Leone, Ghana, Ivory Coast and Niger joined Madam Weah in a manner that elevated the uniqueness and grandeur of the ceremonies.

The 'She's You' movement seeks to address pertinent sexual gender-based issues, including reducing maternal and neonatal mortality, infertility, and education as a national development tool, discouragement of early marriages, rape, abolition of death sentence and many others.

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