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GeneralLiberia news

UN spotlights women’s political participation in Liberia

The United Nations High Commission for Human Rights Office is this July spotlighting Women’s political participation, focusing on women and girls with disabilities.

According to a press release, OHCHR is collaborating with the National Commission on Disability and the National Union of Organisations on the Disabled in Liberia to host a dialogue with women and girls with disabilities.

“While women’s political participation rates are low overall, women with disabilities are even more underrepresented due to discriminatory norms and attitudes based on gender and disability”, says UN Resident Coordinator Christine Umutoni.

Madam Umutoni adds that this makes people consider them incapable of voting or holding office due to stereotypical characteristics ascribed to women and physical or intellectual disabilities.

She notes that this also contributes to a lack of access to polling stations, inaccessible voting material, and few women political candidates with disabilities.

“Electoral processes should be inclusive and participatory, and any action to improve women’s participation in political and public life must include women and girls with disabilities”, the UN Resident Coordinator here stresses.

Addressing the launch of the HumanRights75 in April this year, Liberia’s Minister of Justice and Attorney General, Frank Musah Dean Jr, said increased budget allocated to the National Commission on Disabilities in 2023 indicates the government’s political will to ensure the inclusion of persons with disabilities at the level of policies and programs.

“To encourage women and girls participation in the body politic of Liberia, it should firstly begin with political parties themselves taking action against stereotyping and stigmatising them”, said Rev. Fallah S. Boima, vice chairperson of the National Commission of Disabilities, speaking during the HR75 Live Talkshow hosted on ECOWAS Radio.

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“The human rights framework recommends strengthening the national legal framework to ensure gender equality in the public and the private spheres and protect women from violence on and offline, and mostly supporting women and girls with disabilities”, said OHCHR Country Representative Christian Mukosa.

This year marks the 75th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) and the 30th anniversary of the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action.

 On April 24, 2023, the UN in Liberia officially launched the Human Rights 75 campaign (HR75) with the national authorities, CSOs and all stakeholders. Since the launch, a series of activities and awareness raising on the campaign has been ongoing during a series of activities in the country and through ECOWAS, including a radio talk show.  

The release says for each month in 2023, OHCHR is globally shining a spotlight on one critical theme spanning a range of economic, social, cultural, civil and political rights, highlighting different aspects of the Universal Declaration and calling for concrete action by States and others. Press Release

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