Liberia's Vice President Joseph N. Boakai, Sr., hailed Liberian women for the role they played in ending the country's 14 years conflict. He observed that notwithstanding the injustices and violations Liberian women suffered during the country's civil war, they emerged as key players in bringing an end to conflict in Liberia. He said women stood up and demanded an end to the conflict and advocated for their rights, adding, “It was the women of Liberia's Mass Action for Peace that forced the parties in the Liberian conflict to reach an agreement at the Accra Peace Talks”.
Vice President Boakai gave the commendation Thursday when he delivered the keynote address at the launch of the 10th anniversary celebration of the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325, which falls on October 31.
The resolution underscores the unique vulnerabilities and needs of woman and girls during conflict. It however acknowledges that peace is better achieved and is more durable, when men and women participate equally.
Speaking further, the Liberian Vice President assured that the Unity Party Government will not waver in its support for women, noting that the government's stand on women is closely aligned with one of its major policy objectives, the Poverty Reduction Strategy, and is strongly tied to both resolutions 1325 and 1820.
“We strongly support women's efforts related to self-empowerment, which promotes equality under 1325, and guides against inequality. And we continue to support women's efforts on improving their capacities to function at the same level as their male counterparts,” he added.
He said women in Liberia are serving shoulder-to-shoulder with their male counterparts in every facet of life, adding, “Women are helping to build a more stable, more secure and prosperous future”.
“At the celebration of the 10th Anniversary of 1325, I want to express our condolences and solidarity with Liberian women, our mothers and sisters, in the face of our shared sacrifice and national loss,” he said.
He also used the occasion to call on men to end “their hostilities toward women, change their attitude and behaviors, and abide by 1325 and other commitments to ensuring that we all co-exist as equal partners in rebuilding our country to greatness”.
In remarks at the ceremony, the Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary General, Henrietta Mensa Bonsu disclosed that to date, about 25 countries have developed National Plans of Action for the implementation of Resolution 1325.
According to Madam Mensa Bonsu, there is a global consensus amongst stakeholders that not enough is being done to prevent the horrendous sexual violence and abuse perpetrated against women and girls in times of conflict and post-conflict.
“Too few women are part of the peace negotiations terms, too few women are appointed to senior leadership positions within UN Missions and too few women are part of UN military or police forces deployed in peacekeeping missions,” the Deputy SRSG observed.
She stressed the need to take a harder look at what must be done to stop conflicts and promote peace in concrete ways., adding, “All of us and the UN in particular need to do deeper analysis and design appropriate strategies to ensure the protection of civilians and especially women and girls from being specific targets of abuse and sexual violence in times of conflict”.
She commended Liberians for making history by electing Africa's first elected female President in person of Madam Ellen Johnson Sirleaf. She said at the highest levels in Liberia, President Johnson Sirleaf has demonstrated strong commitment to implement the state party obligation to implement resolution 1325.