Liberia Launches National Policy Dialogue Platform On Gender Equality

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The Liberian Government through the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection has officially launched the National Policy Dialogue Platform.
The National Policy Dialogue Platform is under Component 4 of the Liberia Women Empowerment Project, and is being implemented by the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection with funding from the World Bank.

Officially performing the launch of the project at the Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf Ministerial Complex in Congo Town, Thursday, May 30, 2024, Minister of Gender, Children and Social Protection, Gbeme Horace-Kollie said the Policy Dialogue Platform is intended to support existing interventions to policies relating to gender equality, women’s economic empowerment and gender-based violence.

She added that the initiative is established under the Liberia Women Empowerment Project, financed by the World Bank, noting that activities of the platform will essentially drive policy reforms and review specific areas, including gender-based violence, resilient livelihoods and climate change adaptation with the overall objective of identifying areas for policy reforms.

“The platform will be the spring boat on which the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection will stand to strengthen the leadership for women to stir the affairs of policy agenda that promotes the interest of women and girls,” Minister Horace-Kollie noted.

The top government official indicated that as the nation seeks to answer how the national government prioritizes addressing gender equality, stressing that it is very crucial for more attention to be given to addressing sexual harassment, lower representation of women, domestic violence and discrimination among others.

“Ladies and gentlemen, it is my hope that this significant platform will be the beginning of the journey that finds a pathway for inclusive and sustainable policy that drives empowerment, equality and protection for all women and girls in Liberia. At this point, I now declare the National Policy Dialogue Platform officially launched,” Minister Gbeme Horace-Kollie asserted.

Also giving the overview of the Liberia Women Empowerment Project, its National Project Coordinator, Cllr. Margaret Nigba said the project runs for five (5) years and it is divided into five components.

The project, according to Cllr. Nigba, is a US$44.6 million multi-sectoral initiative to address key barriers to gender equality in Liberia which aligns with government priorities on women’s empowerment and sexual and gender-based violence.

Cllr. Nigba also stressed that the project seeks response, while complementing ongoing investments and piloting new initiatives in healthcare, education and SGBV survivor services.

“The overall objective of the project is to improve social and livelihood services for women and rights in targeted communities, foster positive social reforms and strengthen the government’s capacity to advance women and girl’s empowerment, ” she noted.

Remarks, Liberia’s Country Manager for World Bank, Madam Georgia Wallen expressed delight for forming part of the launch of the Policy Dialogue Platform under World Bank-financed Liberia Women Empowerment Project.

She said this breakthrough project aims to support the GOL in amplifying women’s voice, agency, and economic opportunities at scale, adding that the WBG mission to end extreme poverty and promote shared prosperity on a livable planet is inclusive of all – with special focus on women and youth.

“Gender equality is unachievable without a sustained and broad-based effort involving changes in policies and institutions to address multiple challenges simultaneously. This is the motivation behind establishment of a policy dialogue platform aimed at bolstering the leadership role of the Gender Ministry to prioritize and advocate for key policy and legal reforms needed for advancing gender equality and empowering women and girls in the country,” Madam Wallen noted.

However, in addition to the World Bank, other international partners for the implementation of the project include the European Union, UN Women, UNFPA, UNDP, Embassy of Sweden, Embassy of Ireland, ECOWAS and UN Human Rights Commission, as the presence of those partners was felt through representations and remarks.

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