Liberia: Books Before Boys, The Liberian Dream 2035
MONROVIA – Currently, the Country Liberia’s GDP per capita is $934 USD and is the third poorest economy, but is rich in natural resources such as minerals. With the actual currency value being 159, until 2020, it is projected to be 165. It is further estimated that GDP yearly growth rate will also become 3.87% by 2020. In addition, the unemployment rate is forecasted to stabilize at 2.7%, whereas the inflation rate, interest rate, and rate of Government debt to GDP to reduce to 10%, 11%, and 19% respectively. Moreover, the real GDP growth rate is estimated to increase from 3.4 in 2015 to 6.1% by 2035. The GDP deflator is also forecasted to reduce from 2.9% to 2.5% along with the primary deficit reduced up to 0.8%. It must also be noted that with escalating opportunities, the export growth is also estimated to increase from -4.0 in 2015 to 9.4 in 2035.
Considering all these projections related to the economy, the significance of women empowerment cannot be denied. This is mainly due to the fact that economic development and women empowerment are strongly correlated. Development in itself will drive gender equality in the country, thereby contributing towards empowering women. For the greater level transition, it is essential to sustain the growth, which is only possible if every citizen understands their respective roles as men as well as women towards the growth of an economy. (The Liberian dream2035) This will further lead to the development of the Liberian society at all levels for maintaining equitability in the economy. This can further enhance donor/foreign investments and partnerships with other nations. The government of the country can be able to initiate various programs to enhance women’s effectiveness in education and economic activities, as they represent the nation’s 50% of the workforce. Additionally, supporting women empowerment has already decreased poverty by 10% in 2010. The World Bank, a key actor, in facilitating the nation’s development has been continuously investing in empowering women of Liberia for future betterment. In this light, we have come to launch the Books Before Boys Campaign! The Liberian dream! The dream that promotes economic equity and equality!! Equal access to equal education for all! The dream that embodies an idea of women empowerment and a commitment to the advancement of today’s girls and tomorrow’s mothers through education as a basic human right. But unless there is deliberate, concrete and sustained action taken for self empowerment, taking control of one’s own life goals, this dream cannot be realized in a poor and patriarchal third world country like Liberia where attending school for girls is yet to be an option that it should be, a male dominant society inherent with such cultural barriers to girls’ education as early marriage, dowry payment, lack of requisite educational opportunities, violence against women and internal and external human trafficking.
The fact is that even where there may be schools, most girls do not attend due to poverty, cultural or religious pressures. Socialization of the girl child now seems to have taken a life of its, where young girls, often underage girls, follow a set of social pattern of being trapped and molded as breadwinners for families and holds. Books before Boys is a noble Idea with a mission to counter this ugly trend and reverse the bleak future of girls in Liberia and Africa to revamp, protect and sustain our economy. This is our dream!! The Liberian dream 2035.