By: Laymah Kollie
Liberia-January 29,2024: As President Joseph Nyuma Boakai put forth his developmental agenda for the next few years during his first ever State of the Nation Address, the agenda and plight of women and minority seemed to be missing.
Amongst the major six (6) pillars presented to the Liberian people during President Boakai SONA on Monday, January 29, 2024 at the National Legislature, the vivid omission of how gender issues will be addressed under the Boakai’s leadership was omitted.
Despite his nominations of women in top ministerial positions, his vision for the next few years will keenly focused on Agriculture, Roads, Rule of Law, Education, Sanitation, and Tourism.
The President’s SONA also outlined bills on presidential agenda for passage by the National Legislature. They include: Bill for the Establishment of the Ministry of Local Government, Operationalizing the Revenue Sharing Law, Passage of the National Tourism Bill, Establishment of the Office of the Ombudsman, Amendment to the New Financial Institution Act, Amended and Restated Payments System Act, Liberia Insurance Regulatory Commission Act.
Furthermore, President Boakai declared drug and substance abuse a Public Health Emergency.
However, some lawmakers present at the SONA viewed the omission of women and monitory population issues as an oversight, and believe things will get better.
Representative Ellen Attoh Wreh of Margibi District #3 stated that perhaps the president didn’t see the need to overemphasize his agenda for women as he has already started securing the representation of Liberian women in high positions.
“Maybe he just decided to summarize it not to mention it, maybe it’s part of his agenda but not in the immediate because they are saying that it is already in place and maybe he cannot overemphasize. Of course he started doing it already based on some of the appointments but we will also remind him that we need women in Leadership”, Rep. Wreh said.
Also, Representative Moima Briggs Mensah of District#6 Bong County believes that things will get better as his excellency has a great plight for Liberians.
“The President message was great and we look forward to seeing these things being implemented, and things will get better”.
Meanwhile, Representative Roland Cooper of Dist#1 Margibi feels the absent of women agenda on the president first address might have also been an oversight.
“I think it’s an oversight, because the president has girls children and he could like to see the best coming out of them”.