Liberia will join the rest of the world on Monday, March 8, in observance of the International Women's Day (IWD).
The 2021 IWD's celebration will be commemorated on a Global Theme: "WOMEN IN LEADERSHIP: Achieving An Equal Future In A COVID 19 World,” while Liberia will observe the global festivity under a National Theme: "Women in leadership: Breaking Down Barriers in the Dispensation of a COVID-19 World.”
The International Women’s Day (IWD) marks the plight and accomplishments of women for more than a century. It is annually held on 8th March to celebrate women throughout history and across nations.
In 1977, the General Assembly Resolution declared a United Nations Day for Women’s Rights and International Peace in recognition of the role of women in peace and development efforts, thus calling for an end to discrimination and increase support for women’s full and equal participation.
The first celebration of International Women's Day was held on February 28, 1909 to honor the 1908 garment women's strike in New York.
The day seeks to honour the voices that go unheard, tears that go unnoticed and their rights that are dominated by society. The IWD is also marked as a day for women around the world to come out and inspire people to act in the ongoing fight for gender equality, to recognize the gender inequalities that women as well as celebrating the achievements of women who have overcome these barriers.
However, this year, the Global Theme: “WOMEN IN LEADERSHIP: Achieving an equal future in a COVID 19 World” and National Theme: “Women in Leadership: Breaking Down Barriers in the Dispensation of a COVID-19 World,” celebrate the tremendous efforts by women and girls around the world in shaping a more equal future and recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. It also calls for women’s right to decision-making in all areas of life, equal pay, equal sharing of unpaid care and domestic work.
Women stand at the front lines of the COVID-19 crises, as healthcare workers, caregivers, innovators and community organizers. Women's leaders and organizations have demonstrated their skills, knowledge and networks to effectively lead in COVID-19 response and recovery efforts. Today, there is more acceptance than ever before that women bring different experiences, perspectives and skills to the table and make irreplaceable contributions to decisions, policies and laws that work better for all.
Specifically, this year’s celebration of the International Women’s Day aspires to inspire over 750 women-headed households living in ultra-poverty to climb the ladder of economic self-reliance into a sustainable future over a period of 3 years; and provide business and non-business information to women’s entrepreneurs through the African Women Speak Platform.
This year, as part of initiatives commemorating the global celebration, Liberia, through the Ministry of Gender and partners, will roll out several activities to include the following: an Official Indoor Program at the Theatre of the Ministerial Complex Oldest Congo Town, Monrovia which will be held on March 8, 2021 with panelist discussing women in leadership at all levels through visual and live television broadcast. A link would be created and shared prior to March 8, 2021 for others participants from around the country; BRAC Graduation Pilot in Liberia---Stories of the Women: BRAC Liberia piloted the ultra-poor graduation program with 750 poor women headed households for them to climb the ladder of self-reliance into a sustainable future. The targeted counties are Bong and Margibi Counties on March 10, 2021.
Other activities will include, the Official launch of the ECOWAS 50 Million African Women Speak Platform (50MAWSP). This event will take place on March 11, 2021 at the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection. The 50MAWS is a digital platform that is available via web and on mobile devices as an app (www.womenconnect.org).
It facilitates a dynamic and engaging exchange of ideas among women entrepreneurs using in-built social media functionality to connect them with one another in ways that foster peer-to-peer learning, mentoring and the sharing of information and knowledge within communities, enabling access to financial services and market opportunities between urban and rural areas, and beyond borders.
This project, targets 50 million women in business and is implemented by the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), the East African Community (EAC) and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).
The rest are, Education on Menstrual Hygiene and Sexual Protection and Awareness for Early Learners and High School Students Debate amongst others.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection expects that at end of the 2021 IWD's commemoration, the following would be achieved: That 750 women will employ their skills in improving their economic livelihoods; Female entrepreneurs have more access to business and non-business information; High school students have an understanding on gender parity and its linkages to leadership positions, including in government, and inform policy maker on the next level of engagement for increasing women’s political participation in decision making; while young girls and women will become more knowledgeable on keeping their environment clean and protecting their bodies.
His Excellency Dr. George Manneh Weah, President of the Republic of Liberia, and Feminist-In-Chief, along with with his wife, Amb. Clar Marie Weah, are expected to grace the occasion as Special Guests.
Other participants expected at the IWD's commemoration will include: Traditional Council of Liberia, the Media, Women in Uniform and other security actors, Persons with disabilities, Albinos, Women NGOs, CSOs, CBOs, Men, and Boys. Others are: One UN, and other Partners, Private Sector, Rural women structure/other women groupings, Academia and Youth organizations.