Liberia’s Vice President Chief Dr. Jewel Howard-Taylor has launched the Women on Boards Network Liberia (WOBNL) with a call on women stakeholders to truly commit to a greater cause than issues of individual interest.
The launch of the institution took place Tuesday in Monrovia at the Liberia Chamber of Commerce (LCC) under the theme “33 by 23”.
In her keynote address, VP Taylor observed that the campaign for gender equality across the world is one that demands the full and concerted push from all sides, particularly from national leaders in positions of trust and authority.
She noted that statistics from boards of corporations shows that by virtue of their oversight role, women perform critically in the governance process by ensuring judicious use of both human and financial resources, enforce accountability, good governance and responsibility for the benefit of stakeholders.
According to her, the government has created other governance tools like social corporate responsibility in such a vantage point, noting that one would think that those clothed with this responsibility would use this platform to fight not only for accountability, but for equality thereby enabling the country.
She indicated that the launch of the movement, with the mandate to promote gender equality on the boards of public and private organizations and enhancing corporate governance across the Liberian economy is a remarkable undertaking.
The Vice President emphasized that gender equality is more than a goal in itself; adding that it is a precondition for meeting the challenge of reducing poverty, promoting sustainable development and building good governance.
“Today is indeed a new day when citizens out of their own accord would look at issues affecting the growth and development of the nation and seek to change the old day,” Vice President Taylor emphasized.
Madam Taylor then lauded the heads of the Liberia Chamber of Commerce and staff for the effort to turn the tide towards greater equality and the vision they have shown by showing willingness to invest in processes aimed at changing the national narrative.
“As you have taken this rightful journey, history should count this day memorable that a group of courageous men and women picked up the baton to secure for themselves a more equitable nation where all persons are given equal opportunity to be a part of the national transformation process,” she pointed out.
Vice President Taylor admonished them to truly commit themselves to a cause greater than themselves, to do all they can to ensure that gender equality becomes a reality in their lifetime and to bear in mind that they will accept no other outcome.
WOBNL was established in March 2017 to promote gender diversity on the boards of public and private corporations with the aim to enhance corporate governance across the Liberian economy.
The network replaces the Women on Boards on Task Force which initiated efforts to gather data on women’s representation on boards in Liberia, identify challenges of getting women on boards, and recommending ways to achieve 33 percent women representation on boards by 2023.