As the debate intensified on 40% of Women’s participation in Leadership, the government of Liberia through the Ministry of National Defense and partners has officially Launched the report on Barrier Assessment aimed at measuring opportunities for women in peace operations.
Serving as Keynote speaker at the launch, the Director of “KAICT” at the University of Liberia Prof. T. Debey Sayndee lauded the women of the Armed Forces of Liberia for organizing such a unique program.
He said the security sector of Liberia has no shortage of knowledge and experience manpower but what is lacking is the will and generosity to remain faithful to the security sector, he named economic hardship and some of the dynamics of the country as challenging factors to the sector.
Prof. Sayndee at the same time called on members of the security sector across the country to remain focused as they continue to serve the State with distention and professionalism, and they should not be involved in activities that have the propensity to bring the professional sector to public disrepute.
Professor Sayndee maintained that state security should avoid political influence, and relationship influence, as doing such will undermine the hard-earned reputation of the sector as they are closely been monitored by International partners.
He stressed that it is time for the security sector to be transformed positively as doing so will motivate others to form part of the sector he noted that there is a need to build a strong link between the security sector and the Community dwellers.
For his part, Maj. General Prince C. Johnson III lauded all of their partners for the level of support over the years. He used the occasion to caution the Ministry of Education to put more emphasis on reading comprehension in secondary Schools across the country.
His quest to call on the Ministry derived from the recent requirements exercise carryout by the Ministry where Six thousand applicants most of whom are female performed dismally during the reading comprehension aspect of the exercise. He narrated that most of the applicants failed due to poor reading skills something he described as unfortunate.
Maj. General Johnson mentioned that why the AFL is anticipating more women’s involvement in the Military, it is also essential for women to be educated before joining the force. He reaffirmed government commitment to ensuring that the AFL maintains the Military structure of the country. The Army Chief of Staff stressed that the Ministry of National Defense will implement and execute the report noting that the AFL is here to stay in terms of a peacekeeping mission.
Maj. General Johnson promised to set up a strategic team at the Ministry of National Defense for review and subsequent submission to the Minister of Defense Maj. General Daniel D. Ziankahn, Jr. for the implementation of the report.
He maintained that the AFL will uphold and maintain the status of the Armed Forces, and disclosed that females in the Military constitute 3% far less than the male counterparts in the Military. Maj. General Johnson admonished females to take advantage of the requirements exercise as there are lots of opportunities for Men and Women in the Military.
The program brought together female officers of the Armed Forces of Liberia, Officials of government, ambassadors from the United States, the Swedish Embassy, UN Women, the Nigeria Embassy, the ECOWAS Commission, the Ministry of Gender, and the Ministry of National Defense, amongst others.
The Barrier Assessment research was conducted by the Kofi Annan Institute for conflict transformation by the University of Liberia with technical support from International partners.
The launching took place on Wednesday, September 7, 2022, at the Monrovia City Hall, in Monrovia.
Reported by: Joseph N. Kerkula