Monrovia — Liberia Vice President Jewel Howard Taylor, has stressed the need for 30% women participation at the level of the ECOWAS leadership. According to her, women's representation continues to decline in governance across the ECOWAS nations; adding: "This is not a good signal."
Making her keynote remarks, Liberia's Vice President Howard-Taylor said, the reality of Africa's transformation depends on the peace and stability on the continent. VP Taylor recognized the sacrifices made by ECOWAS Member countries in Liberia during the country's civil conflict.
It is often said, "Every generation must ensure that they work in ways to make their nation better." The Liberian Vice President also stressed the need for delegates from ECOWAS member countries to ensure 30% representation of women on their delegation.
"Mr. Speaker, currently out of 150 members of the ECOWAS Parliament, we have 22 women, a mere 19 percent. We must walk the walk and talk the talk."
More than 100 parliamentarians from across the region, are in Liberia participating in a week-long ECOWAS seminar. The seminar is the first time in Liberia since the regional body was established in 1975. The event is playing host to more than 150 delegates, including parliamentarians and support staff.
The Liberian Vice President did the formal opening of the ceremony.
The scheduled Monrovia Parliamentary seminar is focused on the topical issue of the powers of the ECOWAS Parliament stipulated that "Parliament should endeavor to hold its extraordinary session in the respective member states, either on the initiative of the Bureau or at the invitation of a member state."
Senegal and Cote d'Ivoire are the only member countries besides Nigeria that have hosted the event.
Thursday's opening of the Seminar focused on Transhumance and Intercommunity Conflicts in the ECOWAS Region.
Transhumance is the movement of people with their animals or livestock from one place to another in search of food and better weather for their livelihood, whilst intercommunity conflicts deal with people's inability to coexist in social or cultural diversities.
At the on-going ECOWAS Parliament Seminar, the Speaker of Liberia's House of Representatives, Dr. Bhofal Chambers, said efforts by the regional body to bring about socio-economic synergy between and amongst the peoples of ECOWAS states must take cognizance of the respective cultures and values of its peoples.
Delivering a special statement to mark the full commencement of the ECOWAS Parliament Seminar being held at the Inter-ministerial Complex in Congotown, Speaker Chambers cautioned the body to consider the sociology of the people of the sub-region, ranging from their traditions, culture, religions and their respective economies to ensure a proper policy prescription that suits their wellbeing.
Speaker Chambers, however, averred that, as the region moves more closely together, the means and mechanisms for ECOWAS citizens to live more peacefully cannot be overemphasized.
Speaker Chamber, representing the people of Maryland County, furthered that other areas of successes of ECOWAS are peace-keeping, free movements of its citizens and trade, along with the recent adoption by Heads of States and Governments of ECOWAS States on the usage of a single currency for the region.
This year's Monrovia's Extraordinary Session of the ECOWAS Parliament, which has assembled in its fourth legislature for a parliamentary seminar, is expected to last for a week and few days. It is being presided over by its Speaker, Hon. Moustapha Cisse Lo, whose native country is the Republic of Senegal.