Liberia’s President George Manneh Weah at the 41ST GENERAL CONFERENCE OF UNESCO in Paris, France spoke about the issue of discrimination between men and women. According to Mr. Weah, he is passionate about gender equality, because he believes that men and women are equal citizens, and should therefore enjoy equal opportunities, and have equal access to knowledge and skills, if a society is to develop to its maximum potential.
He noted that as President of the Republic of Liberia and a self-titled Feminist-in-Chief, he has long championed women’s rights and noting that he is “HeForShe”. Mr. Weah said, achieving gender equality in Liberia is one of the top priorities of his Administration, and remain committed and obligated to ensuring that his Government achieves this within the context of Sustainable Development Goal #5.
SDG #5 concerns Gender Equality and is fifth of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals established by the United Nations in 2015. The official wording of SDG 5 is “Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls”. SDG 5 has nine targets and 14 indicators. Six of the targets are “outcome-oriented: ending all forms of discrimination against all women and girls everywhere; ending violence and exploitation of women and girls; eliminating harmful practices such as child, early and forced marriage and female genital mutilation; increasing value of unpaid care and promoting shared domestic responsibilities; ensuring full participation of women in leadership and decision-making; and ensuring access to universal reproductive rights and health. The three “means of achieving” targets are: fostering equal rights to economic resources, property ownership and financial services for women; promoting empowerment of women through technology; and adopting, strengthening policies and enforcing legislation for gender equality”.
The Liberian Leader said, due to the inherent discrepancies in society against women and girls, there is also an urgent need to develop and strengthen mechanisms for their full protection and empowerment, to ensure that their rights are protected and their livelihoods are sustained.
“As a Government, we have made significant strides in legal and systemic reforms to be able to lawfully address the entrenched inequalities that exist between men and women. These will be presented in detail by my delegation during your further discussions”, Mr. Weah informed the conference.
President George Weah reaffirmed Liberia’s support for the agenda and programs of UNESCO, and hope that the new targets which will be set at the conference in the areas of education, science, and culture, will be achieved.
photo credit, Executive Mansion