Liberia: Governance Commission, UN Women Launch Gender Policy
Monrovia – The Governance Commission (GC) and the UN Women have launched the gender policy developed against gender stereotypes.
The policy seeks to curb perceptions and beliefs in Liberia that men are superior and women are inferior. The policy is committed to ensuring that men and women equally contribute to the achievement of the commission’s mandate.
The policy, which was launched over the weekend at the commission’s offices on 9th Street in Sinkor, brought together many including the Ambassador of Sweden, representatives from the Ministries of Gender and Finance and staffers of the GC.
Handing over the policy to the Commission, UN Women County Representative, Marie Goreth Nizigama thanked the GC for taking ownership of the initiative and leading the development of its gender policy.
She said the policy will serve as a blueprint for promoting gender equality and women’s empowerment in the Commission.
“The Governance Commission has taken several steps to demonstrate its commitment to promoting gender equality in the workplace. This is highlighted through its policy frameworks by establishing a Gender Unit and assigning a Policy Analyst (Mrs. Youngor Johnson) who has benefited from UN Women’s training in and out of Liberia. The Commission has also mainstreamed the decentralization policy,” Nizigama said.
According to her, the fact that the percentage of women at the GC is far less than men, there is a need for much more attention for the recruitment of women by putting required measures in place through the effective implementation of a gender policy.
“As per the gender assessment conducted last year (August 2019) of the Governance Commission, women made up 25% of the total employees while men made up 75%; by enabling these measures. This will bring about strategies to institutionalize measures and necessary re-arrangements of operational procedures and internal policies to promote gender equality and enhance women participation in decision-making levels and processes,” she stated.
“The Governance Commission has taken several steps to demonstrate its commitment to promoting gender equality in the workplace. This is highlighted through its policy frameworks by establishing a Gender Unit and assigning a Policy Analyst (Mrs. Youngor Johnson) who has benefited from UN Women’s training in and out of Liberia. The Commission has also mainstreamed the decentralization policy”– Marie Goreth Nizigama, UN Women County Representative
She furthered: “It is important to note that the drafting and adoption of the gender policy is as important as its full implementation. In this context, I would like to reiterate the importance of the full implementation of this policy.”
Launching the event on behalf of the Ministry of Gender, Assistant Minister for Research, Policy and Planning of the Gender Ministry, Roosevelt S. Klafleh also thanked the commission but urged them to work along with the Ministry in fully implementing the initiative.
“We as the Ministry of Gender has the mandate to make sure that we mainstream the gender policy throughout the length and breadth of this Republic and we try to make sure that our national gender policy is fair in every sector,” Min Klafleh stated.
For her part, the officer in charge at the GC, Elizabeth Dorkins said that the launch of the gender policy is a clear indication of the GC’s commitment to fulfilling its obligation.
“We are going to work with this policy and begin the work of gender-mainstreaming as it relates to the process of reform. So as we go about our reform, we are going to make sure every aspect of this policy is implemented to the fullest,” said Madame Dorkins.
For her part, the Gender Responsive Planning and Budget Coordinator at the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning, Sarah McGill stated that the gender policy serves as a framework for implementation.
“The policy is as good as implementation, so in as much as it serves as a guide for the programs that you will be implementing within your institution; funding also becomes a challenge,” she said.
She, however, lauded the GC for the initiative and assured that the Ministry is committed to working with the commission for the uplifting and advancement of the country.
“Finance is opened and willing to work with institutions because we know it is the only way we are able to measure the national budget. Since we all know that governance commission is a reform institution, it is welcoming to know that they are geared towards ensuring that most of their reforms documents are gender balanced,” McGill.