Vice President Boakai Pays Homage to Liberia Woman

Wednesday, 12th December 2007
Dakar, Senegal - Liberia's Vice President Joseph N. Boakai has paid homage to Liberian women for  their immense contributions to their country's history.

Citing as examples the late Angie Brooks Randolph who became the first female to chair the United nations General Assembly and President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Africa's first elected female President, he said Liberian women deserve recognition for their impressive and distinguished contributions not only to their country but to the world as a whole.

Vice President Boakai made the commendation Tuesday night at the closing ceremony of the African Gender Forum and Award 2007 held in the Senegalese capital Dakar. The forum was organized by the international NGO, Femmes Africa Solidarite.

He said women became bread winners during the civl war, when men could hardly venture outside for fear of being summarily executed.

"Liberian women, at the peril of being raped, killed or exploited by unconscionable fighters, walked for hours in search of food to feed the children, while the men sought shelter under various conditions," the Liberian Vice President noted.

He said if Liberia in particular, and Africa in general , is to make the necessary gains, the perception of the "traditional" woman and her "traditional" role within African society must be rigorously challenged.

"In fact it is still not commonly recognized that women are an integral part of any economy," Vice President Boakai lamented, and called for a change of mindset in the perception of women.

The Liberian Vice President observed that migration remains one of the foremost sticky issues to be grappled with between the Africa Union and the European Union, and reiterated calls for innovative solutions to migration, adding, "It must be addressed in a timely and constructive manner, such that it results in a "win-win" situation for both sides.

He recalled the critical role the Mano River Union Women Peace Network (MARWOPNET) played in bringing peace to Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone, and urged Femmes Africa Solidarite not to relent in its work that could benefit all Africans.

The forum will be climaxed today, Wednesday with an award to Rwandan President Paul Kigame for empowering women.

About 50 per cent of parliamentarians in Rwanda are women.