Kakata, March 10 (LINA) – First Lady Clar Marie Weah has described gender equality as not only a fundamental human right but also a necessary foundation for a peaceful, prosperous and sustainable world.
According to the First lady, there must be a cause for action to ensure an innovative way of advancing gender equality throughout the world, especially here in Liberia.
Madam Weah made the call recently on the main campus of the Booker Washington Institute (BWI) in Kakata, Margibi County, when she delivered the keynote address at this year’s International Women’s Day celebration.
Madam Weah said men and women must now engender the cause to have equal freedom and opportunities to develop their capacities and make decisions without limitations.
« Women and men’s rights and responsibilities should not be based on their gender; but sadly, the rights of women and girls continue to be violated as one in every five girls between the ages of fifteen and forty-nine have experienced physical and sexual violence by an intimate partner within a twelve month period, » the First Lady lamented.
The First Lady also pointed out that women in Liberia have less access to education, healthcare, property, and justice, as compared to men, something which, she said, is « very appalling » and called for a more proactive action to avert the situation.
« Women are usually victims of various forms of sexual and gender-based violence, especially rape, which is very alarming in Liberia, » Madam Weah pointed out.
The program was attended by scores of women groups from across the country, international women organizations, and the diplomatic corps, among others.
This year’s International Women’s Day was celebrated under the global theme: « Think, Build Smart, Innovate Change, » while at the national level it was celebrated under the theme: « Gender Equality for Innovative Change, » with the sponsorship of Plan International, the Swedish Government, International Rescue Committee (IRC), United Nations, and Government of Liberia.