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The Chargé d'affaires of the Permanent Mission of Liberia to the United Nations, Mr. Israel Choko Davies, has called for intensification of the fight for increased participation in political leadership, capacity building, and economic empowerment.

Mr. Davies made the call when he delivered closing remarks at Liberia's Side-Event on the margins of the Sixty-fifth Session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) held on the Theme: The Liberian Experience: Women Sharing Experiences on Innovative Ways of Addressing Violence Against Women and Girls in Achieving Gender Equality.

See full closing remarks below:

Hon. Williametta Edourda Saydee-Tarr - Minister of Gender, Children and Social Protection

Distinguished Panelists

Madam Marie Goreth-Nizigama - UN Women Liberia Country Director

Civil Society Representatives

Distinguished Ladies & Gentlemen

Thank you Madam Moderator: 

At the outset, I want to extend my gratitude to the Minister of Gender and her team for organizing this event on the margins of CSW65 which places emphasis on women’s empowerment, their participation in public life, and the elimination of violence against women. 

Minister Tarr, I acknowledge your detailed and inspiring remarks; firm in purpose and expectation. I also congratulate you on your recognition by the US Embassy for being a Woman of Courage.

I applaud our esteemed panelists for their wonderful insight on the scope of the discussion. No doubt they are fully abreast with issues affecting women. Madam moderator, I must note and appreciate your energetic and powerful introduction and your contribution to the discourse. 

I note with thanks the video enlightening and spot-on video presentation from Her Excellency Madam Clar Marie Weah - First Lady of the Republic of Liberia via a pre-recoded message. We appreciate the First Lady’s efforts to women empowerment, particularly through the “She’s You Movement” 

I thank Madam Marie Goreth-Nizigama for her special statement, which like others, will resonate in our hearts and minds. 

To Civil Society Organizations, you know you are an important component in our endeavors to promote gender equality and women’s empowerment. Keep doing what you know best. 

To all the participants, you have been wonderful and you have made practical contributions, especially concerns raised by the rural women. 

You all have discussed issues pertinent to women’s fight for recognition, empowerment, protection, and participation in decision-making. 

This occasion allows the opportunity to reecho Liberian women's immense contribution to the continued peace, security, and prosperity in Liberia. 

In spite of the hurdles Liberian women faced they have long since gained our admiration. From 2003 through 2005, we witnessed the pressure from the women of Liberia which led to the brokering of a peace deal in Accra, Ghana. 

2019, the Peace Hut Women of Liberia won the United Nations Population Award, in the Institutional Category; for their contribution to conflict prevention and resolution; and women's empowerment in Liberia. 

Your persistence, with support from His Excellency Dr. Weah, President of the Republic of Liberia, gave birth to the Domestic Violence law - a useful tool that guarantees the protection of women, girls, and vulnerable groups. 

Moreover, when the threats to women increased during the lockdown, the President acted speedily and robustly, and among others declared rape a national emergency and instituted measures to tackle such uncivilized acts.  

Then working with partners, Liberia was able to develop a roadmap on SGBV. 

In spite of these, we need to do more. Let us not waver and let’s not be complacent - let’s intensify the fight for women's increased participation in political leadership, capacity building, and economic empowerment. 

Let us together resist the stereotype that men are superior to women, and that they are better leaders. One way to surmount this is to reinforce the conversation regarding women’s empowerment - put forward women candidates in political processes and vote for them. With this, you can better amplify your voice. I heard a panelist admonish women to speak out - it's true, speak out - don’t suffer in silence. Pursue and acquire new skills - compete academically - push for equal access for girls’ education. 

Remember this, women’s equal participation and leadership in political and public life are imperative to achieve the sustainable development goals. 

Finally, to us men, if we must secure a prosperous future, especially in Liberia, we must invest in our girls and women, we must protect them and make them a part of decision making. 

I Thank You!