Liberia’s Vice President Chief Dr. Jewel Howard-Taylor has reiterated the need for the inclusion of more women into the governance process of nations and organizations.
While adding her voice to the debate for more women inclusion, VP Howard-Taylor holds that those refusing to recognize the importance of women have come to the realization that any Nation or Organization that does not fully utilize the capacities of it women, such nation is doomed to remain under developed and incapacitated.
Reminding those who believe that women inclusion is not important; the Liberian Vice President encouraged them to take a look at some of the glaring realities of innovation, commitment and profits, which she noted, the female gender brings to the configuration.
According to a release from the office of the Vice President, VP Howard-Taylor spoke Tuesday, April 2, 2019, in Accra, Ghana when she delivered the keynote address at the 6th Women’s International Shipping and Trading Association (WISTA) Africa Regional conference.
The three-day Conference held on April 2nd-4th, under the theme “Roles of Women in Harnessing the potential of African’s Blue economy,” discussed Africa’s blue Economy Inter and Intra Africa Trade and opportunities within the Maritime domain.
She referenced a recent report from Nigeria, in which the head of the Nigerian Port Authority Madam Hadiza B. Usman; has reported for the first time in Nigerian history a remittance of 30.4 billion naira operating surplus to the Federal Government as the most recent justification for women inclusion.
“This is just one example of the benefits of adding the female gender to all aspects of National Development in general and the benefits that they bring to the Maritime Sector in particular. Thankfully, the Maritime sector is quite aware of the benefits of women’s inclusion and empowerment in this sector, hence its attempt at experience sharing, closing the gender gap and empowerment as evidenced by this conference” VP Howard-Taylor said.
According to first Liberian female Vice President, though the numbers are slowly increasing in the governance space, the fact is that women have not always been able to fully enjoy the rewards of the growth in Africa’s economies, especially considering the significant roles they have played in helping expand sectors across the continent .
However, VP Howard-Taylor opined that she is of the opinion that all leaders of Industries should continue to support initiatives for greater inclusion and empowerment of women citing the blue economy which she noted, needs a sustained and concerted action for women to become sea cadets, to lead port operations, captains of ships and innovators for sustainability and growth in the blue economy.
“This is especially more important now, as we see the international spot light being placed on women in this sector coming together to inspire, empower and share with one another. Across Africa, women are forming synergies to promote and support each other and look at new innovative means of their craft in the entire value chain. I am convinced that this is a perfect opportunity for Heads of Governments, policymakers, civil society groups and other stakeholders to come together to not only honor commitments made, but to become drivers for greater inclusivity and acceleration in all sectors, but especially in the blue economy; thus guaranteeing that women are not left behind as Africa’s ‘New Frontier’ flourishes” She emphasized.
Speaking further, VP Howard- Taylor mentioned that in as much as the onus is on National Governance Structures to open up space for Women Leaders; it also behooves women to Stand up, STEP UP AND BE COUNTED, Stressing, “we cannot be counted if we remain behind”.
She underscored :“Our greatest challenge to doing so is FEAR…..of the unknown, of the difficulties, of our qualification, of possible failures, of letting our families down if we are not there 24/7, of being seen as abnormal, of being called REBELS, of being non conformists. But guess what? When a male finds his passion, he isn’t concerned about all of the safety questions….all he sees is the end game; and he makes up his mind that he will do whatever it costs to succeed. Once he has done so, he moves with confidence and zeal to learn the rules of the game, which gets his foot in the door and the rest he learns as he goes up. This is the winning formula”.