â€œAccess to Land, Credits, Education, Crucial for Women Empowermentâ€ -First Lady Clar M. Weah
New York, U.S.A - First Lady, Ambassador Clar M. Weah is calling for international support to build the capacity of girls and women, especially in rural areas, as an effective way of empowering them. Ambassador Weah said providing women with the requisite training will enhance gender equality and promote economic development in the country.
According to a dispatch from New York, the Liberian First Lady was speaking Monday, March 19, 2018 at an event on the sidelines of the ongoing 62nd Session of the Commission on the Status of Women in New York, United States of America. “It would be a major achievement if one of the key outcomes of this gathering would be to find ways to equip our mothers, our sisters and children in rural Liberia with the skills and competency so that they become the driving force for sustainable economic growth and social welfare in Liberia,” said Ambassador Weah.
She outlined one of such skills as education; stressing the need for all females to be educated if poverty must be reduced; unwanted pregnancy must be prevented; and literacy rates increased among others. “Access to education is a human right as per the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs); therefore all females must be educated.”
At the same time, Ambassador Clar M. Weah wants rural women be empowered in agriculture by granting them access to land and credits. According to her, this endeavor would increase their productivity, provide much needed income and reverse some of the cultural practices that intentionally create gender inequality.
The First Lady believes that through the various interventions over a period of time, Liberia will experience a dramatic progress in reducing the gender gaps. She told the gathering that the Liberian government, under the administration of President George Weah, stresses agriculture as a major vehicle for reducing poverty and achieving its pro-poor agenda.
She noted that the gender gaps were still alarming, especially in the rural areas, despite the ascendency of several females to key decision making positions at various levels. She recounted the election of Africa’s first democratically elected female Head of State, former President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and the first female Vice President, Chief Dr. Jewel Howard Taylor and a host of others, but said women were still underrepresented.
The Liberian First Lady vowed to rally the support of various stakeholders at home and across the world, including her husband, President George Weah and UN-Women to ensure her plea is realized.
Meanwhile, First Lady Clar Weah is challenging Liberian women to take advantage of existing opportunities to increase their participation in every sphere of society through a competitive process.
“We must build a culture of competitiveness and take advantage of gender equality laws crafted specifically to increase our participation in politics and the economy,” said Mrs. Weah. The Liberian First Lady, flanged by other members of the Liberia delegation including Gender Minister, Hon. Piso Saydee-Tarr, received thunderous applause for her deliberation.
The side event of the 62nd session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) was part of discussions, which focused on emerging issues affecting gender equality and the empowerment of women.