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Ellen Calls for sustained efforts for women empowerment

Arthur Douglas/Joseph T. Koon
President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf
President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf

( 10, 2015)-resident Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf has attributed progress being made towards women empowerment and equality to massive international support.

President Sirleaf stressed the need for sustained efforts by the International Community to strengthen and empower women at all levels of socio-economic development.

According to a dispatch, the Liberian Leader made the assertion over the weekend in New York, the United States, when she addressed the United Nations General Assembly High-Level Thematic Debate.

The UN Forum was organized under the theme: "Advancing Gender Equality and Empowerment of Women and Girls for a Transformative - 2015 Development Agenda."

At the Beijing Conference about 20 years ago, the President recalled world leaders and activists, envisioned to see a world where women and girls would have equal rights, freedom and opportunity in all spheres of life.

President  Sirleaf said: “Since the Beijing Conference, more girls are now educated, in addition to several women  holding professional positions, while others have broken the  glass ceiling.”

“In an effort to promote gender equality and to improve the status of women, the African Union initiated stakeholders’ consultation in January on progress and challenges for women advancement, declaring 2015 as the year of "Women Empowerment and Development in Promotion of Agenda 2063,”she noted.

At the same time, the Liberian President indicated that the San Diego Women Leaders of the Global Community declared 2015 as the year for "Gender Equality and Women Empowerment in February this year.

She said: “In Rio, World leaders reaffirmed their commitment to ensure the equal rights of women's access to opportunity and participation in leadership in the economy, security and political decision-making.”

President Sirleaf said despite these achievements, there remains a gap between the implementation and promises as evidenced by numerous challenges faced by women.

She said:” As the San Diego Conference pointed out, the current pace of change has been much too slow; it will take 81-years to achieve gender equality in the work place where the highest echelon remains largely male. “

“It will also take 75-years to reach remuneration between men and women for work of equal value and more than 30 years to reach gender balance in decision-making,” the Liberian Leader noted.

President Sirleaf noted that such situation is unacceptable, and urged that as the world is currently engaged in negotiating for a Post-2015 Development Agenda, the call for women empowerment and equality must go beyond rhetoric.

“The world must set goals that are realistic and achievable, coupled with monitoring and evaluation systems that motivate countries to action,” she emphasized.

“This was the success of the Millennium Development Goals as this is the spirit of progress and competition in the achievement of such goals," President Sirleaf said.
The Liberian Leader is currently participating in several summits as part of her official visit in the United States.


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