Liberia’s First Lady Clar Marie Weah, has reaffirmed her support to Liberian girls.
The First Lady was speaking via Zoom, when the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection (MOGCSP) and its collaborating partners organized a program commemorating the Nineth edition of the International Day of the Girl Child, held on Monday, October 12, 2020 at the LLutheran Compound on 13th Street in Sinkor.
This year’s International Day of the Girl Child is being observed under a Global Theme: “My Voice, Our Equal Future”, while the National Theme is: “Let the Voice of Girls be Louder, Empowering them for an Equal Future”.
Speaking via Zoom , the First lady, said she will continue to support girls and advocate for women empornment as long as she continues to serve the country.
“Your wellbeing is the main focus of my flagship program, the “She’s U Movement, which aims to improve the lives of women and girls for a better and prosperous Liberia”, Madam Weah said.
The First Lady also underscored that Liberia cannot Celebrate girls without acknowledging the injustices and challenges that women and girls around the World are faced with.
She said social and economic discrimination, Gender Based Violence are the most frequent challenges girls are faced with.
Preventing them from earning education, empowerment and thereby killing their dreams are other challenges, she added.
” We must tackle all these challenges, She said as a first Lady, my top priority is committed to ensuring your rights. This entails equal access to opportunities, a safe space, and arming you with the necessary tools and skills to make certain that you are not disregarded,” Madam Weah said.
She added: Your voices must be heard because you are the future. According to her, this year’s global theme: “My voice, our equal future,” is particularly relevant for Liberia. Empowered girls and women are essential for the country’s development.
“One of my goals is to empower you through EDUCATION. Education transforms you, empowers you, helps you achieve your dreams, and live your life to the fullest”, she asserted.
Mrs. Weah also acknowledged the great potentials and roles of the girls.
She said: “I want to acknowledge you, you have the potential to succeed, so as your first lady I will make sure that you have equal access as our boys, to Education and Employment so that you can take control of your future”.
“We shall continue the fight to break all barriers so that you can create a more prosperous world for future generations to come.
“You are the leaders of tomorrow therefore, we are committing to protecting your rights through EDUCATION and EMPOWERMENT”, she emphasized.
Additionally, she pointed out that “girls are indispensable and Liberia depends on them. Your voice matters! So don’t be deterred! Don’t be afraid! And never give up. Rise up girls, exert the power in you and take your place as leaders of our world.
I remain committed to standing with and for you; supporting you in every way possible. I want you to believe in yourselves and your ability to live your dreams. You are powerful, you deserve the best, you can do anything you put your mind to. The future of our country is in your hands”, Madam Weah urged the girls.
The United Nations General Assembly adopted Resolution 66/170 On December 19, 2011, which declared October 11 of each year “International Day of the Girl Child”.
Since 2012, October 11 has been marked as the International Day of the Girl aimed at providing girls the platform to amplify their voices and collectively standup for their rights by calling-on stakeholders to promote girls’ empowerment and the fulfillment of their human rights; while at the same time, identifying challenges girls’ face and addressing their needs.
The 2020 edition of the International Day of the Girl Child – focuses on empowering of girls from across Liberia to raise their voices as change-makers in their respective communities, and also, stand up to demand a life free of violence, discrimination and harmful practices amongst other things.
The program targeted at least 320 adolescent girls and young women ages 10-25 from across Liberia, all of whom were provided motivation as a result of success stories shared by inspiring adolescent girls or girl-led organizations who are championing positive social change in their respective communities relative to gender equality, leadership, innovation, advocacy and activism
Adolescence is a critical period that can determine the trajectory of girls’ lives. It is a stage at which key investments and support can set girls on a path towards empowerment, or send them down a negative spiral with lifelong consequences.
Not just for themselves, but for societies and future generations; especially when they are victims of structural and institutional discrimination, recurrent constraints, harmful practices, and violence.
The commemoration also Ignites a breed of change makers and emerging women leaders ready and willing to stand up and raise their voices against issues affecting girl’s participation as well as engaging the media to raise awareness against violence, (which include electoral violence), cautioning and educating young people during these electoral seasons to reframe from violence acts.
Also speaking via Zoom, Gender – Minister Williametta- Piso- Saydee- Tarr, stressed that the Ministry of Gender Commitment to continue to improve, protect, advocate and empowered Liberian girls.
She said there are numerous challenges girls of Liberia faced but the Ministry stands firmed in supporting and promoting girls . Meanwhile, the program was attended by several partners of the ministry including UNICEF, Plan International, Women Solidarity, Inc, International Rescue Committee, Medica Liberia, Actionaid and Sister Aid Liberia (SALI) amongst others.