Liberia: Women Leaders Launch Network with Call for Female to Step-up

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Monrovia – The Liberia Women Leaders Network (LWLN), the local chapter of the African Women Leaders Network (ALWN), was officially launched on Wednesday, December 18 in Monrovia.

The launch, which took place at the Ministerial Complex in Congo Town, brought together women leaders from different spheres of society including government, political parties, traditional and the business community.

The core values of the network includes: Human Rights and dignity of women, Gender Equality, Inclusivity, Non-partisanship, Impartiality, Integrity, Solidarity, Partnership and Local ownership.

The ALWN was established on June 2, 2017 as a joint initiative of the office of the African Union’s Special Envoy on Women, Peace and Security and the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women) with the support of the Federal Republic of Germany, through their representatives in New York and in Addis Ababa.

Also, ALWN sees the establishment of local chapters in all African countries vital in cascading the vision of African women’s leadership from a global to a national level to ensure the sustainability of the movement.

The initiative in Liberia is borne out of the “incessant low representation of women in decision making” and the need to cultivate and build synergies of strong current and former women leaders as well as young women.

Launching the network, Vice President Jewel Howard Taylor called on the women of Liberia to take “solidarity and unity amongst us as women.”

“That is the only recipe for a successful second leg of this journey. Today, solidarity and unity is more important than ever before because we have many challenges that continue to face the forward march of women’s empowerment,” VP Taylor admonished.

She said that women have a part to play amidst the challenge of getting on pal with men in a “male dominated society” by becoming more competitive void of division, adding that “sadly these challenges are becoming more and more enriched in a male dominated political space.” 

VP Taylor said that women leadership currently in Liberia has become a “mirage” despite the election electing “a woman to the highest office in the land; which served as an inspiration to many across the world.”

“How did we get to a place where today we have only 10 women in the national Legislature of a hundred and three members and only one female in the Liberian senate?” asked VP Taylor.

Inducting the steering committee members of the LWLN into office, former President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and patron of the AWLN, challenged the network to serve as ambassadors for the country.

“As ambassadors of the African Women Leaders Network, we need to go out because your nation needs you now, your women leaders need you now; you cannot do anything less but be there for them. And so, we charge you to go into your community, into your area, into your county taking a stance for peace,” stressed Madame Sirleaf.

Also making remarks, the inducted Chairperson of the LWLN, Marjon Kamara stressed that the network needs a stronger political will to be able to implement most of its mandates.

“We need robust and consistent advocacy ahead of the 2020 legislative elections,” Madame Kamara suggested.

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