The ECOWAS Parliament has reiterated its commitment to women empowerment in the West African region.
The Speaker of the Regional Parliament Mr. Sidie Tunis, stated this at the Liberian and Sierra Leonean Bo Waterside border Post where he was received by representative of the Liberian government, Senator Edwin Snowe.
Mr. Tunis said that “the 5th Legislature of the Parliament is keen on taking concrete actions to ensure the empowerment of women across the West-African sub-region.”
Mr. Tunis Tunis was received by the representative of the Liberian authority ahead of the ECOWAS Parliament’s delocalized meeting on Women Empowerment scheduled to hold from April 13 to April 17 in Monrovia, Liberia.
The Speaker of the Community Parliament said “the focus of the delocalized meeting was to transform the talks and protocols concerning women empowerment into actions, and for women to become more inclusive across all sectors.”
He said that the 5th Legislature under his leadership is pushing to ensure that women have a mandatory30 percent representation in the ECOWAS Parliament.
According to Mr. Tunis, “it is time to look and work with women as partners so that they can be present where decisions are taken on their behalf.”
The Speaker noted that 25 years down the line after the adoption of the Beijing Declaration, not much impact has been made in women empowerment.
Mr. Tunis explained that Liberia was chosen by the ECOWAS to host the delocalised meeting on Women Empowerment considering the success attained by producing the first female President in Africa Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and currently has a female Vice President, Jewel Howard Taylor.
“We are here for a very important meeting, a delocalized meeting; I decided that we will have the first Extraordinary Session in Sierra Leone and the first delocalised meeting in Liberia.
“And the topic for Liberia is so interesting that is, the Empowerment of Women in the West African Sub-region.
“There is no way Liberia cannot be a venue for that kind of topic considering that it is Liberia that has produced the first female President and just few years down the line, they also produced the first female vice President…And we do not know whether we are going to have more and more female Presidents coming from Liberia so we are here to discuss as Parliamentarians how we can empower women.’
”Twenty Five years after the Beijing declaration it has just been talks and talks but now, we are talking about actions and how we can transform the talks to action. That is why we are going to be in Monrovia for the whole week, from April 13 to April 17,” Mr Tunis said.
Mr. Tunis also appreciated the Liberian President, George Weah of Liberia for his support for the ECOWAS Parliament.
Speaking on behalf of the Liberian Authority, Senator Edwin Snowe commended Tunis for his efforts in strengthening regional integration since he became speaker of the fifth legislature.
Senator Snowe noted that Mr. Tunis coming into Liberia crossing through the border was significant which further highlights his interest on strengthening regional integration.
He said; “We have come this morning to welcome his Excellency, Mr. Sidie Tunis , Speaker of the ECOWAS Parliament to Liberia.
“Liberia and Sierra Leone is only defined by this little water and the constituency of the speaker is just across.
“When this mission was planned to Liberia, the Speaker said there was no way he could fly over his people into Liberia but he will drive in.”
“Today I am very happy to receive Mr. Speaker on behalf of our President, for me this visit means a lot. As you know, many years ago, we had civil crises in Liberia and this bridge was used to trade arms that killed our people but today, this very bridge is being used to unite our two people.”
Senator Snowe added that the visit of the Speaker of the ECOWAS Parliament from Sierra Leone, driving to Liberia was significant as it enhances regional integration, peace and security of the West African region.