Liberia’s Vice President Jewel Howard-Taylor is proposing the establishment of a Global Women Leaders Peace and Security Network Initiative to push the cause of women advancement.
The initiative, according to VP Taylor, will serve as a working group that will focus on ensuring that women with realistic aspirations to ascend to critical decision-making roles are supported in formulating concrete workable action to succeed.
Such roadmap, in the Vice President’s view, can be evaluated periodically and adjusted to achieve the goal for a more inclusive and equitable world in this and succeeding generations, according to a dispatch from the office of the VP.
In special comments delivered Wednesday, November 28, at the 2018 Women Leaders Global Forum taking place in Reykjavik, Iceland, the Liberian Vice President, averred: “we must PUSH till we change the societal norms and perceptions which continue to hold us back.”
She stressed that in pursuance of the targets set by this Initiative, specific focus should be given to catapulting women into positions that enable them to more potently impact policy decisions that eliminate violence against women, promote peace, security and empowerment of women the world over, adding that “the more women in positions of governance, the better our one world.”
According to the dispatch, Chief Dr. Taylor acknowledged the convergence of women leaders to herald their transition from awareness to action as a right move at the right time.
“Let us however resist the temptation to minimize the huge responsibility it calls for. Commitment and resoluteness must remain our watch words. Faith and optimism must be the fuel that propels us even in the face of daunting obstacles we will meet. For I hope you will agree with me that those who reach top levels are intimidated and harassed, in a bid to cause them to quit before fulfilling their mandates,” VP Taylor reminded participants.
The high level Global Women Leaders Forum is convened in the historic City of Reykjavík, Iceland, to weigh gains made and assess gaps in a variety of issue areas, spanning gender issues, maternal mortality, world economic outlook, peacemaking and sustenance, digital leapfrogging, technology, as well as poverty alleviation, good governance and transparency, among others.
Speaking further, VP Taylor said, “As each of us, gathered here, looks at options for improved peace and security for women the world over, I do so in memory of the roles played by many women leaders to ensure the furtherance of a more peaceful world. We salute them, as today we have the privilege to stand on their shoulders.”
She cited the trailblazing roles of two eminent Liberian women leaders, the late former President of the United Nations General Assembly, Ambassador Angie Brooks-Randolph, and Africa’s first democratically elected female President, Madam Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf.
Reviewing the situation on the home front, the Liberian Vice President, who is also the President of the Liberian Senate, recalled that Liberia became the first post-conflict country to develop a National Action Plan (NAP) pursuant to mandate contained in the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security by the launch of its Action Plan for the Implementation back in 2009.
She, however, lamented that Liberia has fallen in the category of those in a slow pace of the fulfillment of obligations undertaken by nations to implement national action plans pursuant to Resolution 1325, which was passed on October 31, 2000.
“That is why this gathering of women world leaders is not only historic, but important to this process as we put in place plans to recommit our energies from bare awareness to determined actions,” VP Taylor told the participants at the Women Forum.
She challenged the gathering of women to not only talk about this critical issue at the forum, but to ferret strategies that lay out clear action plans which will bring forth the full effect of a mass action by all women leaders in a concerted effort to address the gaps in global peace and security as envisaged by the Resolution.
According to her, by so doing women will raise their voices loudly and work in earnest to change the trajectory towards a world of peaceful coexistence.