By Stephen G. Fellajuah
The Vice President of the Republic of Liberia, Chief Dr. Jewel Howard Taylor is urging Liberian women and girls and other women across the world to step forward and reach out to make their dreams come true.
According to Liberian Vice President Howard-Taylor, there are women who are breaking barrels and challenging the status quo. However, the Vice President said sadly, majority of the women and girls still live under difficult circumstances while some of them believe that the challenges are too many that they cannot stand up.
VP Howard-Taylor spoke when she made a special remarks at the program marking the observance of International Women Day organized by the International organization for Migration and the Jewel Starfish Foundation.
Madame Howard-Taylor, founder of the Jewel Starfish Foundation, said that statistics have showed that there are many challenges women and girls face around the world, but noted that there are lots of brave women and girls who stood up, stepped out and changed the world around them, taking leadership responsibilities and helping the world to become a better place through their roles in communities and nation.
She lamented, “Women today live under difficult circumstances, being mentally (emotionally), physically and sexually abused in the open where there are few people to stand up with them, especially when we look at the incidents of rape cases across the country.”
Madam Howard-Taylor further bemoaned the plight of women, adding that some of these incidents happened in the homes and mothers turned their back on them.
VP Howard Taylor continued that the circumstances that women and girls face are the same thing with migration, families push their sons and daughters to go out and do some things against their will thereby risking their lives.
In spite of the many challenges women and girls face, there is still light along the tunnel.
The Liberian stateswoman asserted that in the face of there are alarming incidents of physical and sexual abuse as well as murdering of women and girls, there are still other women and girls who have been trafficked across Liberia, Africa and the world at large.
She said the girls are regularly adopted in Nigeria, pointed out that and their stories paint a bad picture of the situation which makes most women and girls just accept things as they are.
The Vice President, notwithstanding, implored young women and girls see former President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, who was abuse but landed in the country’s highest seat as Africa’s first female democratically elected president.
“We can change our circumstances and our world if we believe in our dreams, take courage;” she said urging young girls to believe in their dreams and step out forward for them. “If you believe step out, those dreams can actually come true”, she admonished.
Also speaking at the occasion, the Country Coordinator of the International Organization for Migration (IOM), Mr. Cherif Diallo, said the program of the IOM is in line with what the Jewel Starfish Foundation is doing.
He asserted that as the pandemic broke out, women around the world were working to keep others safe. He pointed out that empowering women is important because their duty is very significant in their homes and communities.
Mr. Diallo said the United Nations, governments and NGOs realize that women equality is paramount though, but said there are still challenges especially in the African Continent where statistics have shown that there are 1.8 million young adults on the move.
He stressed that they are moving because they have been attempting to believe that there is greater grainer pasture outside their country.
“These youth have been subjected to so many violence. For us, we think that is our responsibility to make sure that this stops.” He said
He added, “We want to make sure that we protect them, teach them to be strong and resilient”, and said, “We will be here to support in any way we can as part of the United Nations. Urged you to be resilient and steadfast.”