Liberia’s First Female Vice President Chief Dr. Jewel Ceaineh Howard-Taylor is awarded another honorary Doctor of Gender Development (Honoris Causa) by the University of Calabar (Unical), in Nigeria. She was awarded Honorary Doctorate Degrees in Leadership and Governance from the St. Clements University- United Kingdom (2016) based on her exemplary service to the people of Liberia and being a positive Role Model to African women and girls; and Public Administration from the University of Costa Rica (2017).
In its final citation, the institution through its Vice Chancellor, Prof. Zana Akpagu said the Chief Dr. Howard-Taylor is given the accolade in recognition and celebration of her “erudite scholarship, humanitarianism, patriotism political sagacity, outstanding leadership skills and exemplary interest utter devotion and commitment to issues of gender equality and development.
The citation states “this feminist icon and Jewel of Africa has received commendations from all parts of the world based on her personal merit. Awards from Liberia, Nigeria, Ghana, Gambia, Ivory Coast, Dubai, London, South Africa, USA and many other places are eloquent testimonies of the high esteem with which she is held by many.”
“Chief Dr. Howard-Taylor is not only a visible and very involved stateswoman but also a very strong advocate for various causes that directly touch the lives of the common citizen, including Gender equality, affordable but quality education; a fair, transparent and fully functioning justice system; an accessible and affordable health care system, which caters to the under privileged,” the university added.
The University of Calabar reckoned that because of her “unbridled passion for women’s equality and empowerment, she has earned the sobriquet as ‘the Jewel of Africa’ for her strong advocacy for increased participation of women in the governance space not only in Liberia, but beyond. As Liberia’s first female Vice President, she is not just an advocate, but a strong financial pillar to the causes she believes in.”
Unical acknowledges that the Liberian Vice President has over the past 20 years continued to provide and raise funding for the economic empowerment of rural women across Liberia and for educational scholarships for more than 1,500 girls across Liberia through her “Jewel Starfish Foundation” which she founded in 1999 and sponsors, till date, is totally dedicated to the provision of educational and economic opportunities for women and girls; providing mentorship for the Nation’s brightest female Leaders across Liberia; and provision of support and protection to victims of gender and sexual based violence.
The institution went on to add that the “Jewel of Africa” unquenchable advocacy, zeal and genuine interest in gender equity and mainstreaming is worth emulating; noting “the University of Calabar also shares this vision and as a result can also point at its Centre for Gender Studies as the fulcrum for gender-based research and positive impact on the society at large. Chief Dr. Jewel Howard-Taylor is a recipient of many accolades, laurels and awards from Local, National and International Organizations, ranging from humanitarian to outstanding leadership awards.”