Liberia holds 3-day men’s gender equality conference

A three-day ‘All Men’s Conference’ under the theme:  ‘Gender equality: A call for men’s action NOW—Repair the past and push women forward’ has kicked off in Liberia.

The national conference, which runs from June 11 to 13, is being held under the auspices of the Liberian Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection with support from Sweden through the United Nations in Liberia.

Some of the topics for this year’s discussions are the role of men to end violence against women; the importance of girls’ education in national development; sexual and reproductive health & rights; property rights ( e.g. land rights); equal work equal pay ( employment ) and women’s political participation in local governance.

The event is predicated upon the idea that gender equality is necessary not just for the growth of females as participants within the society but also in addressing poverty reduction and human development challenges among both population groups making up the society.

The conference is exploring challenges to achieving gender equality and pushing for increased women’s representation at all levels of governance and also provide the space and opportunity on information sharing and formulate strategies to get men involved in the advocacy campaign while reaffirming their commitments to gender equality and zero tolerance to gender violence.

This year’s conference is focused on increasing men’s involvement in  advocacy and other activities to address key issues affecting women and girls as well as increasing their access to information about women issues among other things.

Last year, the ministry held the 1st All Men’s Conference bringing together stakeholders and actors with the understanding that without men’s involvement, gender equality cannot be achieved.

As a result of this first conference, a communiqué was signed but outcomes could not be followed up due to the 2017 Presidential and Representative Elections. However, over the period, issues affecting women and girls are still being reported and is said to be increasing on a rapid basis.

Even though there are commitments, there are still high prevalence of gender based violence (GBV) and inequality amongst women and girls as recent statistics from the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection show that in 2017, a total of 1,685 GBV cases were recorded, with 97% of the survivors being women and girls.

Over 300 males are expected to participate. They include media practitioners, CSOs heads, NGOs heads, legislators, traditional leaders, religious leaders, cabinet ministers, judges, youth groups, students, etc.

 

 

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