‘She’s You Movement’ Launched in Grand Style – Pres. Weah, Other Dignitaries Accentuate Gender Equality
The Liberian feminist movement, which gained particular prominence during the tenure of the country’s first female president, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, has in no way faded with the exit of the president. Not only has the current leader made himself “Feminist in Chief” as an epitome of unfeigned political will to promoting and protecting the cause of women, the First Lady of the 24th President has come to the position with unbridled passion, unmatched creativity and high sense of national motherness. A hardly highly passes by without Madam Clar Weah showing one or all of those characters. On Thursday, June 20, 2019, the Liberian First Lady proved it eloquently once again when she brought together foreign and national dignitaries in a colorful and inspiring conference on the welfare of Liberian women and girls. The Analyst’s Anthony Q. Jiffan reports.
The first lady of the Republic of Liberia Mrs. Clar Marie Decontee Weah has officially launched the “She’s You Movement” in on June 20, 2019, at Centennial Memorial Pavilion in Monrovia, Liberia under the theme “improving the lives of women for a prosperous Liberia”.
The Ceremony brought together first ladies to include Mrs. Rebecca Akufo-Addo of Ghana, Dr. Lalla Malika Issoufou of Niger, Mrs. Fatima Maada Bio of Sierra Leone, and Mrs. Dominique Ouattara of Cote D’ivoire as well as Madam Maxine Menson Co-founder & President SHEROES Foundation International and amongst others.
Officials of the Liberian Government who grace the occasion include President George Manneh Weah, Vice President Jewel Howard Taylor, Foreign Minister Gberhzongar Milton Findley, Minister of State Nathaniel F. McGill, Health Minister Dr. Wilhelmina Jallah, Gender Minister Williametta Piso Saydee Tarr, amongst others.
Speaking as chief launcher of the Movement, President George Manneh Weah expressed joy over what he termed as a bold and selfless step taken by the first lady toward improving the lives of women and girls in the Liberian society.
“I am proud of you for this bold and selfless step you have taken toward improving the lives of women and girls in our society” Pres. Said.
He noted that the initiative undertaken by the first lady is not for self-glory, but to ensure that the voices of Liberian women and girls are heard in a louder tone, saying that Mrs. Weah has always shown compassion for the less fortunate and disadvantage in society.
“I know that you are not doing this for your own glory, because you have always shown compassion for the less fortunate and disadvantage in our society and I believed that this movement will impact our society through improving the lives of our woman and girls” He asserted.
The Liberian leader at the same time expressed gratitude to the first lady for termed as her continue efforts in supporting the Liberian government, adding that her contribution to the success of the government Pro Poor Agenda for Development and Prosperity will always be remembered by his administration and Liberians.
President Weah then told the gathering that the government of Liberia remains focus on finding innovative ways to reduce the rate of sexual and gender based violence against women and girls in the country.
Making remark earlier before the appointed time according to the program due to what was announced by the master of ceremony as her basic schedule, vice president Jewel Howard Taylor urged the gathering to fight against Sexual and Gender Based Violence.
She also urged every Liberian to work toward the transformation of the society from violence against women and children.
VP Taylor called for the elimination of sexual and gender based violence and female genital mutilations (FGM). The Vice president at the same time pledged her support to the She’s you movement and working relationship
At the ceremony, Liberia first lady Clar Weah, presented the She’s You movement and Free to Shine Campaign to the public while President George Manneh Weah officially launched the movement.
Mrs. Weah said in Building a sustainable democratic society for all an inclusive society with respect for everyone’s right and to develop one capacity and the opportunity given to everyone to exercise their rights.
“Until rape is kick out of Liberia, maternal mortality rate is reduced, equal right for all citizens is guaranteed, we will continue to fight against sexual and gender based violence in the country” the first lady said.
She said with the presence of former president Ellen Johnson Sirleaf administration for 12 years, and now Vice President Jewel Howard Taylor, women are given the courage to participate into policy making process in the country, “I am proud of that”.
She furthered that the movement seeks to redefine the way in which women engage the public discourse and stand up together to speak with one voice against issues affecting the society just as Liberian women will speak to violence against women and girls and other ills in the society.
The Liberian first lady indicated that the movement will provide women the opportunity to engage public issues be it political, social, and economic as well as religion and enable then participate in national leadership.” It will also ensure that teenage pregnancy is reduced and HIV is eradicated from the country”.
Also speaking at the occasion with a statement of support to the movement, Sierra Leonean First lady Fatima Maada Bio said, African first ladies are not willing to be silent and will not be silent by man for any reason.
“We cannot allow men to continue to rape us or violate our rights and remain silent, that will not happen in this society and I can assure you that I personally cannot be silent by any man” Mrs. Maada Bio asserted.
The Sierra Leonean first lady added that she is willing to speak about every forbidden subject in the society, especially against women and girls. “I am willing to speak about all forbidden subject in society”.
Mrs. Maada Bio furthered that if everyone stands with first lady Clar Marie Decontee Weah and the “She’s you Movement” in her quest to improve the lives of Liberian women and girls the goal of the movement will be actualized.
“We have to stand against violence in our society, there will be a better society in which everyone can live and survive” she said.