Monrovia – The visiting Crown Prince Haakon Magnus of Norway who is also United Nations Development Program (UNDP) Good Will Ambassador has underscored the need for girls’ education and women’s safety to be prioritized, if the Sustainable Development Goals are to be achieved.
Crown Prince Magnus said it was important for women to be involved in order meet the SDGs.
Speaking to women at Fish Market in Monrovia, he acknowledged Liberian women’s resilience which returned peace to Liberia.
“I understand there have been tough times; risks you have taken and the resilience and endurance to bring peace; something that is good,” Prince Magnus stated.
The SDGs, he told the women, has 17 goals and one of such is to have endured peace.
He noted that gender equality must be embraced by all, urging men to support equity by being a HeforShe.
The Crown Prince earlier visited the Liberian Market Place, a hub used to showcase and promote locally produced products by Liberian entrepreneurs.
At the Market Place, Prince Magnus while on a tour expressed delight with the productivity of Liberian entrepreneurs.
“I am very impressed with what I have seen here,” he told local entrepreneurs.
He indicated that SMEs is an important part of the SDGs in the alleviation of poverty by 2030.
SMEs, he added, must be sustained and there should be other initiatives for improvement at all levels.
According to Commerce Deputy Minister Andrew G. Paygar, SME faces huge challenges, ranging from access to farms to market roads to training and development including legal and regulatory module for local entrepreneurs.
Minister Paygar told Prince Magnus that the Liberian Market Place was established in 2014 and since that time, over 60 local entrepreneurs are currently being trained by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry.
Prince Magnus also visited the Duport Road massacre memorial site where he laid wreath on the engraved stone at the site and met with survivors of the country’s civil war and Ebola Virus Disease.
For their part, the women of Liberia through Gender Minister Julia Duncan Cassell and Angie Brooks Randolph International Center Yvette Chesston Wureh presented the UNDP’s Good Will Ambassador with kola-nuts, and ‘country rice’ as a tradition of receiving guests into the country.
Gender Minister Julia Duncan Cassell recalled that Norway partnered with the Government of Liberia through the Ministry of Gender Children and Social Protection in fighting Sexual and Gender Base Violence.
Minister Cassell said the women of Liberia were proud to have as guest the Prince of Norway in the country.
However, the women recounting their strides in ensuring peace in the country told Crown Prince Magnus that over 10 women from Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea united themselves by calling on regional leaders of ECOWAS and MRU to intervene in the crisis in Liberia and Sierra Leone.
Madam Elizabeth Mulbah of WIPNET said the women’s quest for peace led to them being part of regional mediation in Abuja, Nigeria and Accra.
“The role of women in bringing peace was not easy, because we engaged regional leaders at mediation meetings in Abuja and Accra for peace to come to Liberia."
"At the time of war, women were being raped and people were dying; so the women of Liberia in particularly saw the need for peace to come,” Madam Elizabeth Mulbah recalled.