West Africa: First Lady Commends Husband's Effort in Tackling Rape, Violence Against Women At Ecowas Delocalized Meeting

Monrovia — Liberia's First Lady Clar Marie Weah has assured delegates at the ongoing ECOWAS Delocalized Joint Committee Meeting in Monrovia that the Government of her husband, President George Weah, is committed to tackling rape and other forms of violence against women.

The First Lady made the remarks at the opening of a week-long Delocalized ECOWAS Parliament Joint Committee Meeting on Social Affairs, Gender, Women and Empowerment, Education, Science, Culture and Health at the Ministerial Complex in Congo Town, outside Monrovia.

The Theme of the meeting is "Empowerment of Women in the ECOWAS region".

Mrs. Weah informed the delegates that the government of Liberia under her husband's leadership has declared its commitment and support in tackling rape and other forms of violence towards women and girls.

According to her, the Clar Hope Foundation has a vision of creating an equitable society by restoring the hopes of disadvantage children, youths and women through education, health and other opportunities to better their lives.

The Liberian First Lady cautioned ECOWAS countries to use a holistic approach in addressing the issues affecting women in the region because, according to her, the need for women in the region to have access to what they want cannot be overlooked.

"We should not just be discussing the empowerment or elevation of certain class of women in ECOWAS, women in politics, public space, or private sector. We should not just be talking about women in business or women in the board room, we should be talking about all women of all races and from all walks of life across every sector and in every corner of our region.

"We are here to talk about serious steps to ensure that every woman and every female in our region has access to all she needs to ensure that she fulfills her potential and contributes to the development of society. No girl or woman should feel deprived of any opportunity by virtue of her gender."

Mrs. Weah further committed her Clar Foundation to ensure that the future reality of Liberian children, especially girls is brighter. "I have dedicated most of my life to humanity in the U.S., Liberia and Jamaica."

Also speaking, the Speaker of the ECOWAS parliament Sidie Mohamed Tunis called for actions in addressing issues of women's participation through implementation of existing laws. He stressed the need for ECOWAS member's countries to allocated safe seats for women in their various parliaments.

According to him, the global 30% women political participation will give exclusive opportunity to women to contest amongst themselves. "At national level, I believe we should have safe seats for women. Let the women fight for themselves; women are not weak they are very strong."

He believes men are not giving women in the political landscape of every member countries. "We the men are not giving them the opportunity as we speak there is a low representation of women even though there is a law there are challenges. The talk is too much we need action"

He also told reporters that ECOWAS is drafting future legislation that will ensure that Representatives to the ECOWAS parliament would not necessarily have to be members of Parliament but people electing during national elections by the citizens to represent their interest.

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