Liberia: Former President Calls for Stronger Commitment As Int’l Women Conference Ends In Monrovia
Monrovia – The African Leaders Network steering committee meeting ended in Monrovia Tuesday, with Liberia’s former President calling for a stronger commitment to solidify togetherness.
Report by Alline Dunbar, [email protected]
The African Women Leaders Network (AWLN) is an initiative supported by the African Union (AU) and the United Nations focusing on Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN
The meeting was held at the Boulevard Palace hotel on thirteenth street Sinkor, Monrovia.
The initiative aims at enhancing women leadership in the transformation of the continent, in line with AU Agenda 2063 and the UN 2030 Sustainable Development Goals and it is funded by the Federal Republic of Germany.
The AWLN was launched during the first High-Level Women Leaders Forum for Africa’s Transformation at the UN Headquarters in New York in June of 2017 and was established at the second Forum that took place at the AU Headquarters in Addis Ababa in April 2018.
In her closing remarks, the former Liberian leader who was the chief patron of the African Leaders Network, Madam Ellen Johnson Sirleaf thanked the organizers of the gathering and stressed that she has been enriched by the comments from various speakers of the two-day event.
The former president, however, called on all participants of the meeting to leave with a stronger commitment and “I think we all will leave, each of us with a stronger commitment to be able to promote this institution which we have all brought together with a common purpose”.
She added that the driving force of the AWLN will have to be the national chapters and their common goal to move the initiative forward.
“How they organize, how they structure, how they formulate their strategies and more importantly their focus,” she suggested.
Madam Sirleaf challenged the proposed Liberian chapter particularly to move beyond distrust and fear.
”You have to move beyond disunity and see how you can put all the women together around this common goal,” she said.
The AWLN currently counts over 300 women leaders from various sectors, ranging from political, public, private sectors, grassroots organizations, civil society, and youth.
Five countries have launched their national chapters, while 11 more have targeted to launch their chapters during 2019. The Liberian Chapter is to be launched at the end of April this year.
Also speaking at the close of the meeting AU special envoy on women peace and security Bineta Diop called on the AWLN network to reach out more to rural women because they are faced with a lot of challenges like rape.
“This is a call for action for the network and it means that our network is really important and the women in the rural areas really need our actions,” she said.