Liberia’s Vice President Chief Dr. Jewel Howard-Taylor, addresses Women Political Leaders (WPL) Summit 2019 in Tokyo, Japan, encouraging the Japanese government to accelerate efforts in ensuring more women are involved in electioneering processes to enable them elected in Parliament.
According to a press release, the WPL which kicked off June 25-27, 2019, is a global network of female politicians. It is an independent and non-partisan foundation, with headquarters in Iceland, the global champion of equality between men and women.
The Summit is organized by the WPL and co-hosted by the House of Representatives of the People’s Republic of Japan under the theme: “Advancing Society through the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)”.
It preceded the G-20 Summit which is hosted by the Government of Japan for the first time since the establishment of the Group of Twenty (G20) in 1999.
The Liberian Vice President, who is an Executive Board Member of the WPL, participated in a panel discussion on the topic: “Advancing Society with women as political leaders”.
In her articulate presentation, Madam Taylor commends the Japanese Parliament for hosting the WPL Summit and recounted Japan’s low female parliamentarians performance which accounts for only 10 percent of females occupying seats in the lower house and 20 percent occupying seats in the upper house; a statistics which places Japan amongst the lowest in terms of females participation relative to the G20 Countries.
VP Howard-Taylor also applauds the Women of Liberia who finally broke the “glass ceiling” by electing former President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf as Africa and Liberia’s first female elected President, opening the doors for many women in Liberia and Africa at large.
Jewel, herself, being first female Vice President of Liberia, calls for the establishment of quotas in various countries to reflect women participation in Parliament and cabinet positions.
She emphasizes support for women, who are in elected positions and challenges women to support one another by reducing words and increasing actions.
Vice President Howard-Taylor shared the platform with Madam Fumiko Hayashi, Mayor of the City of Yokohama, Japan, Madam Anna Rossomando, Vice President of the Senate of Italy, Madam Paula Cox, former Premier of Bermuda, Madam Maria Loreto CarvajalAmbiado, First Vice President of the Chambers of Deputies of Chile, and Madam Hanna Burns Kristjansdottir, Senior Advisor at UN Women, Chair of the Board of WPL and former Minister of Interior of Iceland.
She then held diplomatic discussions with Mr. Ochade M. Osekwe, Executive Chairman of the Nigerian Chamber of Commerce & Industry in Japan, on enhancing Liberia’s energy sector and waste management.
Meanwhile, VP Howard-Taylor also granted interview with Mr. Hidetake Miyamoto, Deputy News Editor, and International News Department of Japan.
The interview focused on the Government of Liberia’s Pro-poor Agenda and how Japan has contributed immensely to infrastructure, agriculture and education in Liberia.
The 7th Tokyo International Conference for African Development (TICAD) to be held in August 2019 was high on the agenda.
The Vice President assures that President Weah is aware of TICAD and is expected to lead a high level delegation to foster relations between Liberia and Japan.
The WPL was founded in 2013 by Madam Silvana Koch-Mehrin. The 2019 WPL Summit brought together over 230 women from more than 30 countries across the world. Press Release