Liberia: Captan Calls for Increased Women Access to Electricity, Training

Captan addresses the participants on the importance of women access to electricity, training and jobs.

Millennium Challenge Account-Liberia Chief Executive Officer, Monie R. Captan has called for increased women access to electricity, training and employment opportunities, a release has said.

According to the release, Captain made the statement when he installed the first set of elected officers of the Female Workers of the Liberia Electricity Corporation (LEC) in Monrovia.

Mr. Captan added, "Ensuring gender inclusion in all development projects, mainly access to electricity is a critical component of the United States Government Millennium Challenge Corporation Compact with Liberia."

The LEC Gender department organized the election, and subsequently inducted into office the elected officials of the LEC female workers leadership.

Millennium Challenge Account - Liberia (MCA-L) helped established the LEC Gender department as a key compact objective to mainstream gender in the electricity sector, and to ensure that compact project benefits reach vulnerable groups, including women and other disadvantaged people.

It has supported establishing and equipping gender units at the ministries of Mines and Energy, Public Works, and LEC. In March 2019, MCA-L equipped the LEC Gender department with over US$8,000 worth of office furniture, computers, air conditioners, and office tools.

"As we invest in development in any country, it is important that development reaches all beneficiaries, not just one particular gender, so we want to see that as people are trained in LEC, women also have access to the training. We want to see that, as jobs are created, women also have access to employment. We want to see that as electricity is spread across the country, women also have access to the electricity." Captan said Friday, July 19, 2019 on the LEC Bushrod Island compound where the induction program was held.

In her induction speech, the new president, Youngor Lablah, challenged the women of LEC to push to make the organization greater.

"We want to see more qualified women excelling within LEC to senior management positions to further improve the overall performance of the corporation," she said.

"I charge us to dare to be different and fix the wrong; dare to change the course of action for the improvement of this great corporation. Today, I charge us to go out there and be the change that we want to see in LEC and in the communities so as to change the perceptions of LEC and create a sense of togetherness and commitment to the duties to which we have all been called."

Other officers include, Zanweah Bantu first vice president, and Elizabeth T. Falkornia second vice president, Comfort Zingbey, as secretary-general, Harriet Claryer-Carr as financial secretary, Mary Bohlen as chaplain, Beatrice Gbengon as the Bushrod Island coordinator, and Anita Zolia as the Mount Coffee coordinator.

The newly installed officers will represent the 143 women, who are part of LEC's workforce of 900 persons -constituting 15.8 percent. The new executive board will work with the LEC management to better achieve its goal of a 40:60 gender balance.

Economic Community of West Africa States (ECOWAS) Special Representative to Liberia, Ambassador Babatunde O. Ajisomo, who delivered the keynote address, challenged LEC management to include more women in specialized training, such as generator, transmission and distribution.

Amb. Ajisomo also said the corporation needed to support education for indigent women and girls under its corporate social responsibility as part of the national and regional efforts to empower women.

United Nations Women Liberia Deputy Country Representative, Sangeeta Thapa emphasized the importance for women empowerment.

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