First Lady Clar Marie Weah has disclosed plans to launch ‘She’s You Movement’, a national initiative aimed at advocating for gender equality. The initiative, expected to be launched in April this year, will advocate for women’s economic empowerment and increased participation in key positions of leadership as well as quality education, and reproductive health among others.
Mrs. Weah made the disclosure Thursday, March 7, 2019, in Robertsport, Grand Cape Mount County at a side event in commemoration of the International Women’s Day. The program, held under the theme: “Gender Equality for a better Liberia,” also marked the pre-launch of the First Lady’s She’s You Movement.
According to Mrs. Weah, the Movement is her way of responding to the increasingly alarming violation of women and girls’ rights involving sexual gender-based violence especially rape among other challenges.
“As your First Lady and Mother of the Nation, I feel your pains and want to work with you to address these challenges,” Mrs. Weah told hundreds of women at the Robertsport City Hall.
She condemned the various forms of violence against women and girls as unacceptable, saying it inflicts serious physical, psychological and reproductive health consequences on the victims can also cause death. Mrs. Weah said in order to give women their rightful status in society, their voices must be heard, their tears must be noticed and their rights must be respected.
While reaffirming her commitment to the women’s cause, the First Lady was optimistic of a better future for Liberia in which the rights responsibilities of both women and men will be equally valued and considered. “I am quite aware that the huge gender inequalities women and girls experience stem from entrenched perceptions that are deeply rooted in our culture,” said the Liberian First Lady.
“Yes, I am aware that it will be difficult to change this. However, I am confident that making a change for the right cause is possible. “We can achieve it through hard work and determination which must start now,” Mrs. Weah exclaimed in her call for action.”
Meanwhile, the Liberian First Lady praised the women for their collective work over the years in challenging the status quo and demanding their rights, thus contributing immensely to Liberia’s current progress towards gender equality. “You are our heroines and I am proud of you,” Mrs. Weah asserted.
Speaking earlier during an interactive section, the women expressed several concerns about challenges affecting their livelihood. These challenges ranged from the lack of electricity and adequate drugs at the only main medical facility in the area coupled with poor roads, a poor education system to the lack of empowerment for women.
According to the women, the situation was worsening their already deplorable living condition as they called on the First Lady and the President, His Excellency George Manneh Weah to come to their aid.
In response, the First Lady assured that their concerns would be considered, even though she was quick to point out that it would take time to have all of them addressed. Following the program, Mrs. Weah distributed beautifully made African costume lappas to the women. The occasion brought together several national and international dignitaries.
They include Gender Minister Williametta Tarr, UN Women Liberia Country Representative Mrs. Marie Goreth Nizigama, and Montserrado County District number 9 lawmaker, Representative Munah Youngblood among others. The First Lady’s visit to Grand Cape Mount County marks the fourth county apart from Montserrado that she has officially visited to engage women and children in her humanitarian outreach.
Mrs. Weah arrived in Robertsport to an arousing welcome by hundreds of jubilant women representing the various districts in Grand Cape Mount County. They walked along with the First Lady through a nearly ten minute-trekking-distance, from the main entrance of Robertsport City to the City Hall while chanting and dancing in an expression of their happiness over her decision to visit them.