International NGO Kvinna till Kvinna (KTK) in collaboration with UNMIL Gender Advisor Office began a two days consultative meeting here Tuesday, 12 December at the Corina Hotel in Sinkor, suburb of Monrovia.
The 6th consultative meeting brought together rural women and women in Montserrado County to discuss the roles and cultures, unity and the issues of integrity.
The meeting was held under the theme: “Integrity, Culture, and Diversity Towards Strengthening Unity.” In attendance were more than 50 women from both urban and rural Liberia as well as representatives from various NGOs, CSOs, government agencies, marketers, and young women’s organizations.
Welcoming participants, KtK Head of Office Rie Lukowski says on behalf of UNMIL’s Gender Affairs Office and KtK, it is a pleasure warmly welcoming all of the participants to the 6th consultative meeting.
According to her, unity is when people come together with other individuals or groups to form something greater than any of “us”. She says unity is often built around a common purpose-a harmony of interests or value that creates a shared identity.
Madam Lukowski observes that when people are united by shared values and goals, they can move together, synchronizing their efforts to attain things that none could attain alone. She emphasizes that unity is inclusive, noting that a sense of unity can transcend people’s fear of each other. In unity, she says the joy of one is the joy of all, the hurt of one is the hurt of all, and the honor of one is the honor of all.
Speaking on “Integrity: Culture and Diversity Towards Strengthening Unity,” Nyamah E. Dunbar says the main focus is to regard or define integrity as a life “change experience.” She says life “change experience” cannot be time bound, noting that it is not restricted by lack of money, but it is a decision that something has touched the core of “our” being or a fire has been started inside of “us” because of something which passionate of.
According to her, the reason why most people shy away from integrity is largely due to fear within that strangles or ties them from doing something.
Meanwhile, former representative candidate and Deputy Secretary General at the Federation of Liberian Youth (FLY) Amb. Daintowon Pay-bayee encourages women to uphold their integrity if they must succeed in their endeavors.
“We will all agree that there is no highest value in our society than integrity,” she says, adding that integrity determines what people really are, and it goes with consciousness.
According to her, integrity is done when no one is watching, saying it is some time simple but people overlook it.
She notes that KTK’s desire to work with women group comes from the fact that Liberia has a history of violence, armed conflict and high unemployment. She observes that although a peace treaty was negotiated in 2003, many social problems remain, among which gender-based violence are including domestic violence, inadequacies in the legal system and the exclusion of women from political decision-making, particularly important women ’s rights issues.
Kvinna till Kvinna supports projects that sensitize women about their human rights and aim to increase their participation in political and economic decision-making processes.
Kvinna Till Kvinna meaning Woman to Woman, is a Swedish organization founded in 1993 as a result of the Yugoslav Wars. It supports women in war and conflict zones with a strong concentration on the Balkans, but is also active in the Middle East and the Caucasus.
The international NGO works closely together with the people who live in these areas, because Kvinna Till Kvinna believes that democracy can only be built by their inhabitants. The organization’s role is simply to support these women, who are often also gathered in organizations, to build up democracy on the basis of their own need.
By Lewis S. The–Edited by Winston W. Parley