As the fight against sexual gender-based violence continues unabated in the country, Vice President Jewel Howard Taylor is taking the campaign to the door of all well-meaning Liberians, calling for more support to the long marginalized and overlooked segment of the population.
“It’s time to uphold the equal rights, voices and influence of girls in our families, communities and nations,” the Liberian leading feminist campaigner said. “Girls can be powerful agents of change, and they need to be supported by everyone who cares about human rights and a sustainable future.”
Speaking Friday, October 11, 2019, in Nyien, Todee District, Montserrado County when she hosted a program for over two hundred girls and young women to commemorate this year’s International Day of the Girl Child, Madam Taylor called for sustained efforts towards the empowerment of women and girls in Liberia.
She acknowledged that youth activism, spearheaded by girls, has brought fresh energy and a renewed sense of urgency to tackling issues fought by generations before them.
“It shows that no one is too young to act for human rights, and no one is too small to make a difference,” said the First Liberian Female Vice President. “These young human rights defenders are initiating, joining and spearheading movements with insistence and courage, confronting backlashes and attacks.”
“They are engaged in a range of issues, demanding an end to gender-based violence, insisting on implementation of the right to education, sexual and reproductive rights, and economic and political empowerment,” she asserted, stressing the empowerment of girls in the areas of education, health and agriculture are crucial to the overall sustainable national development.
She explained that this will not only help to put women and girls on par with their male counterparts but will enable them to adequately support the national development processes.
She lauded the energy and sense of urgency as well as the courage and intellect that the girls and young women have brought to recognizing and confronting many of the challenges from poverty to violence amongst others.
The Liberian Vice President said despite their generally disadvantaged position, girls and young women are at the forefront of critical struggles, characterized by political, socio-economic and environmental crises.
The program, which brought together over three hundred girls as well as school administrators and the authorities of Todee District, also featured other partners including representatives from AWILO Young Women- Liberia Chapter, the International Youth Federation, and Green Gold Liberia among others at a roundtable discussion to highlight mentorship and the importance of girls and young women empowerment in various sectors.
The Vice President Howard-Taylor has meanwhile provided twenty new sewing machines to begin a skills training program in tailoring for girls and young women in Todee District.
According to the Liberian Vice President, the tailoring program is the first amongst several vocational skills trainings she intends to initiate in Todee District.
In remarks, Todee District Statutory Superintendent, John N. Tucker praised Vice President Jewel Howard-Taylor for always identifying with the people of Todee and pledged the local authorities’ commitment to closely working with the Office of the Vice President and other partners in undertaking meaningful development in the District.
He described the Vice President’s scholarships and mentorship support to women and girls in the community as timely and encouraged the beneficiaries to attach more seriousness to their education.
The United Nations General Assembly on December 19, 2011, adopted resolution 66/170 declaring October 11 each year as International Day of the Girl Child.
The observance of the day is intended to acknowledge the importance of empowerment and investment in girls, which are critical for the eradication of poverty, and breaking the cycle of discrimination and violence girls suffer worldwide.
This year’s International Day of the Girl Child was celebrated under the international theme: “Girl Force: Unscripted and Unstoppable” and the national theme: “Girl Force: Breaking Boundaries and Barriers.”