By Bill W. Cooper
The 5th Legislature of the ECOWAS Parliament has assembled in Monrovia as House Speaker, Bhofal Chambers dismisses the picture being portrayed about women’s less representation under the Weah-led Government.
Officially opening the meeting, Speaker Chambers admonished the ECOWAS meeting to discuss what will holistically address all of the many challenges confronting the member states within the region.
In his counter claims that the government is still lacking in women’s adequate representation at all levels of governance in the country, Speaker Chambers justified that President Weah’s administration has over 65 percent women occupying positions as deputies and assistant ministers including two female Associate Justices at the Supreme Court.
Making remarks at the five-day ECOWAS delocalized meeting ongoing at the Ministerial Complex in Congo Town, Chambers boasted that Liberia has made significant strides in making sure that women are represented at all levels in government.
In spite of Speaker Chambers’ assertion regarding women’s representation, President George M. Weah has agreed to recommit his government’s unflinching support towards the empowerment of more women across the country.
President Weah pledged that as a Feminist-in-Chief, he will ensure that women in every aspect of the Liberian society especially in politics and governance are given the needed and necessary support.
The Liberian leader, among other things, stressed that the empowerment of women in the ECOWAS region cannot be underestimated and that his government remains committed to ensuring Liberian women representation at all levels.
He added that the theme of the meeting which is aligned with the empowerment of women in the ECOWAS region is something that needs to draw the attention of every member State, hoping that the adopted resolution from the meeting will be adequately implemented.
President Weah who once served as head of the Liberian delegation to the ECOWAS Parliament further expressed happiness that it is now headed by Sidie Mohamed Tunis of Sierra Leone whose selection was that Liberia is hosting this year’s delocalized meeting.
Earlier, Liberia’s First Lady, Clar Marie Weah, pointed out that females’ contributions through social stability and economic development can no longer be downplayed or considered inconsequential owing to its huge impact on the society, emphasizing that the very fabric of communities cannot be held together without the tangible inputs of the women.
According to her, although there seems to be an improved awareness of women’s contributions in society; there is still a lot of work that remains undone, to ensure that women across the region and the world at large are given the proper recognition that they require to engage and contribute meaningfully to the growth and development of their respective nations.
She added, “I am comforted by the steps being taken to guarantee gender equality, access to education for the girl-child and better health facilities for women by respective governments across the continent and in particular amongst ECOWAS member states. This is why the theme of the delocalized meeting comes at a very critical time.”
The ECOWAS Parliament Speaker Tunis disclosed plan that under his speakership will pushed and ensure that the much talked about 30% women participation across every sector of government is actualized.
He added that there is also a plan of which discussion are now underway to ensure that certain amount of elected seats be kept exclusively for women to enable them contest against each other, indicating that with that, he foresees more women participation and representation at all level of the governance of every member states.
The ongoing ECOWAS Parliament meeting held under the theme, ‘Empowerment of Women in the ECOWAS Region’ is expected to climax on April 17, 2021.