Liberia’s Vice President Chief Dr. Jewel Howard-Taylor, has addressed the Women Political Leaders (WPL) Summit 2019 in Tokyo, Japan encouraging the Japanese government to accelerate efforts at ensuring more women involvement in electioneering processes to enable them be elected to the Parliament.
The WPL which kicked off June 25-27, 2019, is a global network of female politicians. It is an independent and non-partisan foundation, with Headquarters in Iceland, the global champion of equality between men and women.
The Summit organized by the WPL and Co-hosted by the House of Representatives of the People’s Republic of Japan was held under the theme: “Advancing Society through the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)”.
According to a dispatch, the Summit preceded the G-20 Summit which is hosted by the Government of Japan for the first time since the establishment of the Group of Twenty (G20) in 1999.
The Vice President, who is an Executive Board Member of the WPL, participated in a Panel Discussion on the topic: “Advancing Society with women as political leaders”.
In her articulate presentation, Madam Vice President commended the Japanese Parliament for hosting the WPL Summit while encouraging the Japanese government to accelerate efforts in ensuring more women participation in electioneering processes to enable them get elected in Parliament.
She recounted Japan’s low female parliamentarians performance which accounts for only 10% of females occupying seats in the lower house and 20% occupying seats in the upper house; a statistics which places Japan amongst the lowest in terms of females participation relative to the G20 Countries.
VP Howard-Taylor also applauded the Women of Liberia who finally broke the “glass ceiling” by electing Former President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf as Africa’s and Liberia’s first female elected President, opening the doors for many women in Liberia and Africa at large.
The first female Vice President of Liberia also called for the establishment of quotas in various countries to reflect on women participation in Parliament and cabinet positions.
She emphasized support for women who are in elected positions and challenged women to support each other; reducing words and increasing actions.
Vice President Howard-Taylor shared the platform with Madam Fumiko Hayashi, Mayor of the City of Yokohama, Japan, Madam Anna Rossomando, Vice President of the Senate of Italy, Madam Paula Cox, former Premier of Bermuda, Madam Maria Loreto Carvajal Ambiado, First Vice President of the Chambers of Deputies of Chile, and Madam Hanna Burns Kristjansdottir, Senior Advisor at UN Women, Chair of the Board of WPL and former Minister of Interior of Iceland.
The Liberian Vice President also had diplomatic discussions with Mr. Ochade M. Osekwe, Executive Chairman of the Nigerian Chamber of Commerce & Industry in Japan. The meeting centered on enhancing Liberia’s energy sector and waste management.
Madam VP also had diplomatic exchanges with members of the Japanese Parliament and discussed ways in which both countries can collaborate in the area of democratic governance.
Meanwhile, VP Howard-Taylor granted interview with Mr. Hidetake Miyamoto, Deputy News Editor, and International News Department of Japan.
The interview focused on the government of Liberia Pro-poor Agenda and how Japan has contributed immensely to infrastructure, agriculture and education in Liberia.
The 7th Tokyo International Conference for African Development (TICAD) to be held in August 2019 was high on the agenda.
The Vice President assured that President Weah is aware of TICAD and is expected to lead a high level delegation to foster relations between Liberia and Japan.
The WPL was founded in 2013 by Madam Silvana Koch-Mehrin. The 2019 WPL Summit witnessed the participation of over 230 women from more than 30 countries across the world.