Gender Ministry Rolls Out US$44.60 Million Women Empowerment Program

By: Jerromie S. Walters

Capitol Hill: Liberia’s Gender and Social protection Minister had disclosed the commencement of USD$44.60 million empowerment program for women across Liberia.

As part of the roll out, recruitment of qualified applicants to help implement the world bank project is underway.

Addressing the Ministry of Information regular press conference on Thursday, October 6, 2022, Minister Williametta Piso Saydee-Tarr said the Liberia Women Empowerment Project (LWEP) project which seeks to empower women across the country is aimed at enhancing women empowerment by addressing social norms with a focus on gender based violence prevention and improving access to livelihood.

Given the project’s innovative design, the Gender Minister said it will impact 750 communities across the country using targeted criteria that take into account areas of particular needs (including comparatively high rate of poverty).

Some of the criteria include barriers and equality of employment. Using a whole community approach, it will implement evidence methods to shift social norms through works with communities to address the norms that drive gender based violence.

The Liberia Women Empowerment Project (LWEP) will also pillar investment to increase access to basic gender based violence and adolescent sexual and reproductive health services at the local level and promote community engagement on girls empowerment linked to schools.

As it is divided into five components, Component one is tied to enabling positive social norms and community mobilization. At community level, the project will fund activities to address social norms that drive gender equality especially the norms that drive GBV, with specific focus on intimate partner violence.

Conspicuously, component two will enhance basic services in health and education. At the community level, the project will pilot health and education to address local access to adolescent sexual and reproductive health and GBV services.

Intrinsically, component three will provide resilient livelihood through community led approaches. It will fund women’s livelihood support grants, using a community driven group base approach.

Using the livelihood group setting as a platform, the project will also deliver life skills and gender addressing GBV and training to build agency, address GBV and strengthen resilience of women livelihood.
In addition, the fourth component will strengthen public institutions. At the institutional level, the project will support institutions capacity building for gender machinery in Liberia.

On the other hand, the fifth component will finance tye implementation, management, coordination and oversight of the project. It will fund knowledge management including an impact evaluation to generate lesson learned about the project model and it’s potential for scaling on a wider basis.

However, the project is financed by the international Development Association in the amount of USD$ 44.60 million, with a total of 17.80 million as grant, and USD$ 28.80 million as concessional credit.

Liberia will implement the LWEP project with the involvement of the Ministry of Gender as implementing agency, along with the Ministry of Agriculture, Education, and Health.

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