Monrovia - UN Women Liberia country representative, Marie Goreth Nizigama has frowned the under representation of women across Liberia’s governance structure.
Madam Nizigama believes this participation can be impactful if priority is given to female participation, beginning with the pending 2017 presidential and general elections.
“We wish to emphasize that despite considerable investments in Liberia in the area of women’s political participation, the number of women in political leadership and the governance system is still far below global benchmarks,” Madam Nizigama said.
At the signing ceremony of an agreement of a project cooperation agreement on women’s political participation and elections between UN Women and partners in Monrovia, the UN Women Representatives emphasized the importance of working with civil society organizations in driving local ownership as well as enhancing national capacity that would deliver national priorities.
The agreement was signed between UN Women, the Women NGO Secretariat of Liberia, New Narratives and the Liberia Women National Political Forum.
Nizigama noted that the agreement will greatly contribute in enhancing women participation in the pending elections as candidates, accountability agents, active participants in monitoring and mitigating electoral violence.
She described as regretful for women to have 11.65% of a total 103 member of the National Legislature, while at the same time, they make up 6% totaling 130 positions of a total 2220 local government positions.
With this number she sees as regretful, Madam Nizigama stated that the 2017 general and presidential elections present a golden moment for women and girls to actively participate in the electoral process and exercise their voting right.
“It is important also to highlight the pivotal role of all stakeholders, especially that of the media to ensure that voices of women are heard and respected and that their issues remain forefront of the electoral process and post-election period,” Nizigama averred.
She maintained that UN Women continues to value its partnership with civil society and other actors including women structures at community level in ensuring the active engagement of women in the upcoming elections.
With the collaboration of her partners through the signing of agreement, the world women body said its three key objectives will now be achieved.
She named the three objectives as, providing support to women leadership, most especially those contesting electoral offices including preparing them for campaigning and crafting strategic issues, conducting civic and voters’ education through community engagement at sub-national and national level as well as monitoring media coverage and the dissemination of key messages in support of women leadership.
Madam Nizigama further reminded her partners in women advocacy to see the signing of the agreement as a commitment to deliver on their expectations.
She recognized the support of the Government of Canada towards women’s political participation in Liberia.
The UN Women Representative in Liberia has reaffirmed UN Women’s commitment to supporting the full realization of gender equity in the country, especially increased participation in the 2017 elections.
At the same time, the head of the Liberia Women National Political Forum, Ruth Caesar, said the action on the part of UN Women has provided the pathway for women in Liberia pursue their goal.
“What this action means is that you are loosening our hands so that we can be able to use the commitment that we have within ourselves and the interest we have to deliver,” Madam Caesar said.