WONGOSOL Celebrates International Women’s Day With Emphasis on Women’s Empowerment

Liberia-March 30,2024: As the commemoration of International Women’s Day climaxes, the Women NGO’s Secretariat of Liberia(WONGOSOL) has ended a day long with women celebrating with an emphasis on women empowerment. The event was held at Royal Grand Hotel in Monrovia.

It brought together stakeholders, partners network members and international Delegates from South Sudan.

In an exchangeable way, participants had the opportunity to interact with panelists from various ministries including Gender, Justice, Internal Affairs, Education, and Health Ministry, through a diagloue session.

Recommendations and ways forward to address issues affecting women were highly placed on the agenda.

During the event, WONGOSOL Executive Director, Madam Esther S.D Yango, while giving the overview of the program emphasized the importance of empowering women and creating an enabling environment for them to be on path with other countries.

”We call on the government to join hands in creating an enabling environment by building the capacities of the women of Liberia.”

Madam Yango said, only women understand their issues and once they are empowered, they can collaborate in elevating their agendas.

She stressed: “women have played their roles in maintaining the peace despite the many challenges and we believe once they are empowered, they will do more.”

In her keynote address, Madam Christine Umutoni, Resident Coordinator of One United Nations highlighted the importance of advancing gender equality and women’s rights. Most women continue to be marginalized and abused as a result of gender inequality, says the Resident Coordinator of UN in Liberia.

Madam Umutoni said, investing and empowering women, amounts to investing in the future of communities, nations and the world at large. Adding, empowering women at every level, is crucial for any country’s

Stressing ”Women are still responsible for unpaid care and household work, which is undervalued. Women and girls, particularly those poorest and experiencing discrimination, are more likely to experience violence, oppression, and marginalization.”

To address gender inequality, Madam Christine Omutoni says Liberia needs to increase the production and use of gender data, strengthen the capacity of LISGIS and other government institutions, and have access to quality gender data that reveals differences across age, income, and rural-urban locality.“Liberia’s women’s rights organizations, which play a crucial role in women’s economic empowerment, gender-based violence prevention, political participation, sexual and reproductive health, and rights, received only 0.13% of total official development assistance and 0.42% of grants from progressive private foundations last year. Despite their significant contributions to Liberia’s development, these organizations are not adequately funded, often operating voluntarily, which contributes to women’s unpaid work and the burden of care.
According to her, securing robust, flexible, and multi-year financing for locally-led feminist movements and women’s rights organizations is crucial to combat poverty, drive gender equality, and foster sustainable development.

Liberia ranks 164th out of 191 nations on the Gender Disparity Index, with gender disparity pervasive in social, cultural, economic, and political spheres. Men and boys are more likely to have formal education, while girls living in rural poverty are the most disadvantaged.”

However, former Gender Minister Julla Duncan Cassell signaled President Joseph Boakai’s attention to ensure the adherence of 1325, by ensuring the presence of sufficient women in the security sector. “We have DEA, we have the EPS, we have the police, and we have Immigration,” she encouraged President Boalai.

The Women Non-Governmental Organizations Secretariat Of Liberia (WONGOSOL) is a non-governmental, non- discriminatory and secular women-based organization established as an organ to coordinate the activities of women organizations in Liberia since 1998. WONGOSOL has a membership of 175 women led organizations within the 15 sub-divisions of Liberia. Our membership encompasses Community Based Organization (CBOs), Faith-Based Organizations and Non- Governmental Organizations (NGOs).
International Women’s Day is celebrated globally on March 8th to honor and recognize the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women. The global theme for International Women’s Day 2024 is

“𝐈𝐧𝐯𝐞𝐬𝐭 𝐈𝐧 𝐖𝐨𝐦𝐞𝐧: 𝐀𝐜𝐜𝐞𝐥𝐞𝐫𝐚𝐭𝐞 𝐩𝐫𝐨𝐠𝐫𝐞𝐬𝐬” and the national theme is “Empower Her, Empower All.”
IWD is also a day to advocate for gender equality and women’s rights. The day has been observed for over a century and is an opportunity to reflect on progress made, raise awareness about ongoing issues, and inspire further action towards a more inclusive and equal world for all genders.
Liberia sits sixth from the bottom of 162 countries on the Gender Inequality Index.
This discouraging report is also acknowledged by a 2022 World Bank report which shows that women are underrepresented in elective office in Liberia and among the lowest in the world.

A recent UN Women’s report shows that more women are living in poverty overall than men. It says currently, more than 10 percent of women globally are trapped in a cycle of extreme poverty, living on less than USD 2.15 a day. At the current rate of progress, as many as 342 million women (8 percent) will still be living in extreme poverty by 2030.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *