President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf has applauded women across the globe for their demonstrated leadership role at all levels.
President Sirleaf noted that although at the top level of political leadership, the numbers have been few, but the role they have played in changing their own environments and the world is well documented in history.
The first African female president also said Africa too has registered great women leaders in every country, with strong showing in South Africa, Kenya, Nigeria, and Tanzania, to name a few, adding that Rwanda stands out with the highest number of Women in Parliament throughout the world. Liberia is proud to have broken the glass ceiling.
“Women leadership today covers every sphere of society, challenging and breaking through traditions in the church, in private companies, in sports, in the highest level of Government. The topic of this year’s Annual Event Women, Leaders and Africa is thus very appropriate,” President Sirleaf noted.
She continued that this year has been momentous for setting the course for world development, after more than two years of robust consultations involving all stakeholders around the world, in September, at the General Assembly; the nations of the world adopted the new global development agenda, the Sustainable Development Goals or SDGs to replace the Millennium Development Goals. This was preceded in July by the Financing for Development Conference which produced the Addis Ababa Action Agenda and we head to Paris next month for the segment of the final Agenda which aims to conclude the Kyoto Round and its agreement on the support required for the preservation of our planet including management of the effect of Climate Change.
President further noted that the overarching theme of the SDGs is the elimination of poverty so that no one in society is left behind, as the one bearing the face of poverty, we should call for substantial support for the programs that will be designed under Goal 3, the Empowerment of Women.
“I am proud to have served as one of the three co-chairs of the 27 member panel designated by the UN Secretary General Ban Ki moon to lead the initial process that led to the finalization of the goals. The African Union declared this year as the year of Women Empowerment and the President of the Commission, Dr. Nkosana Dlamani Zuma, launched several initiatives for women participation in the processes of peace and development. We applaud all nations that responded to that initiative,” the Liberian leader narrated.
President Sirleaf said in Liberia, the Stop Fistula is a program of assistance to women who suffer discomfort and rejection from the society because of a condition of permanent urine. She said the government is in partnership with the Saint Joseph Catholic Hospital and four health centers over 200 women have had their dignity restored disclosing how some 1000 women and girls have been assisted in pregnancy to prevent the disease.
“I want to thank the doctors of the St. Joseph Catholic Hospital who rendered exceptional service to my country during the period of our fight against the terrifying Ebola virus. I also want now to recognize the team of doctors in this room who have given volunteer service to the women of our country,” president extending her to the Catholic hospital.
By Ben P. Wesee