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Cummings announces US$10M SME loans for women when elected president

The Standard Bearer of the Collaborating Political Parties (CPP), Mr. Alexander Cummings, has announced plan to create a US$10 million small and medium enterprises (SME) Fund to support businesses owned by Liberian women, upon his election as President of Liberia.

Cummings said he would also strive to increase women’s participation in government through elected and appointed office from 30 percent gender parity to achieve 40-50 percent gender inclusion in appointed government positions.

These were contained in a special statement issued by the CPP Standard Bearer to mark the observance of International Women Day today, March 8.

The world celebrated International Women’s Day Wednesday under the theme, “DigitALL: Innovation and technology for gender equality.”

The CPP Standard Bearer congratulated women worldwide, especially Liberian women who, he said, are too often deprived and denied. He lauded Liberian Women as being amongst the bravest, most caring, and hardest working in the world.

“In spite of having our first female president, and other women who have served our country admirably at home and abroad, I must say that the longing for equal rights and gender equality is yet to be achieved for Liberian women,” Cummings said.

He added, “unnecessary structural barriers and unfair hurdles remain in the pathway of the advancement of women and girls in Liberia, while basic rights and protections continue to be denied to many women.” 

The CPP Standard Bearer said no society can achieve its fullest potential without the advancement of its women, noting that to maximize Liberia’s potential, “we must equally provide opportunities for our women and girls.”

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He was emphatic in stating “We lose the advancement of our humanity when we act to hinder rather than enable the progress of women,” noting that former U.S Secretary Hilary Clinton was right when she said, “women rights are human rights”.

Cummings said issues affecting women are not just women issues but rather, human rights issues, which must be addressed with the utmost urgency.

Cummings said a CPP government will strive to end impunity for Sexual Gender-Based Violence (SGBV) and all forms of violence against women, as well as inequality and discrimination, especially in workplaces.

He said a CPP Government will ensure speedy prosecution of perpetrators of violence, strengthen referral pathway services, provide psychosocial services for survivors and safe homes for victims.

Cummings added that regional Sexual Offenses Courts (Criminal Court E) will be established to ensure access to justice nationwide, to avoid overburden of the circuit courts or ‘Criminal Court E’ in Monrovia.

Cummings said observance of International Women’s Day, every year, is a reminder that our common gender is humanity, urging Liberians to recommit to treating each other with decency and respect. “We must stand together against all forms of inequality and injustice to our humanity. For too long we have minimized the fact that women are still largely oppressed and treated unequally in a highly patriarchal society, Cummings said.

He called for an end to inequality and urged Liberians to stand with every woman fighting for her dignity, rights, and freedom.

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