Liberia: The Need to Enhance And Upgrade Women Participation in National Growth and Development

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In the turn of the millennium the debating platform for women’s human rights empowerment has grown into a global Panorama and yet it cannot and has not resulted in the desire results and as such this prime issue continues to take center stage in politics, law, banking, sports, religion, cultural and every fabric of our daily existence.

Across our global village from the Americas, South, North and Latin America, Europe, Asia and Africa the need to enhance, improve and equally empower women is an everyday discussion of nation building.

National Government continues to pay hip-service to the issues of Women and Child’s rights, as perpetrators of Sexually Gender Based Violence (SGBV) continue to be protected by cronies of political maneuvering within the implementations of outstanding laws against the perpetrators of (SGBV).

The Judiciary, the arbiter of the rules of laws is permeated by cases of sexual harassment and indecent approaches by male colleagues that are reported and swept under the carpet against actions that should be enforced legally to mitigate the ills against the lesser sex. Qualified females are overlooked for promotion or sensitive legal assignment or cases for fear of women being overly independent in legal and moral responsibilities.

The ascendency of Madam Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf  has to an extend lifted women’s human rights and involvement in all fabric of Liberia and the African society at large today that Liberia can boast of women been ex-president, ex-chief Justice and Associate Justices in Liberia and Africa respectively. Considering this milestone and a huge gender equity achievement, there is a need for a lot more improvement.

Women are the nuclei of mankind existence and yet for generations have suffered discrimination of all sought in every fabric of our world.

As earlier mentioned, women face huge disrespect due to biases in political organizations where most times they are the majority, due to the fact that even in democratic institution they are not allowed the full tenants of democracy agreeing that they are the numerical strength, moral voices and most times the mobilizing force in these so-called political institutions.

Eg. The case of Hon. Botoe Kanneh of recent in the just ended Mid-term Senatorial elections held throughout Liberia. She contested as Senator for Gbapolu County and has experienced untold ill treatment by stake-holders in the elections processes due to actions purportedly animating un-balance gender inter-actions. Her rights were violated, her security threatened and actions against her person show her gender was that of a lesser quality.

All wrongful actions and utterances against her was tantamount to threat against her life and as such it amounts to huge disregard for women’s human rights and the in-ability of authority to accept gender equality in all our processes.

The desire to enhance and upgrade women participation in national growth and development should not be limited to high level national platform, but the establishment of strong grass-root, indigenous undertaking amongst our semi-literate and illiterate larger community. These communities and women dwellers are the roots and foundation for many of our high flying dignitaries, honorable and Excellency running the affairs of our society. And tackling the issues from its roots to overwhelmingly settling the issues.

Suggestions:

  • Encouraging and allowing women literate and illiterate to part-take in leadership activities at districts, clan, towns and villages levels.
  • Ridding local government functions of traditional norms that reduce women to restricted values
  • Training women not educated to know their roles and responsibilities to their towns, villages and districts
  • Allowing women the rights, privileges and the responsible measure that encourage their rights to understand their true status and values to the growth of the nation and development.

Finances and earnings equal pay/salary based on qualification and competence. Level playing field in the dispensing of opportunities, benefits and incentives incurred on jobs. Equal allocations of travelling and scholarship opportunities and all implements that enhance a person educational and professional sojourned.

National Government has to go beyond framing policies papers and begin to enact existing law or improve in measure and tactics the implementation of these laws to improve the rights of women and girls. Sports, can be limitedly described as a form of recreation, entertainment, enlightenment and yet sports has turned out to be a basis of serious violations, discriminations and the issue of Gender Based violations and inequalities has blacken the true moral and social qualities of all sports.

  1. Unequal pay opportunities
  2. Very low promotional rights and opportunities for women
  3. Sex harassment and in-appropriate passes by male players and coaching staff
  4. Restriction or denial by religious authority for the rights for women to partake in all sports.

Atty. Harriet M. Kamara works at the Roberts International Airport as an In-House-Attorney. She has a long working as an advocate as women and Children’s human rights lawyer.

She is committed to advocating for the rights of Women and children in Liberia and the World at large.

Address: [email protected]

+231770555101/+231886571349

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