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Women crave for space in govt.’s Arrest agenda

Two women’s organizations in the country collaborate to mainstream the government’s ARREST agenda, emphasizing women’s inclusion. 

By Lewis S. Teh

Monrovia, Liberia, June 12, 2024—The Organization for Women and Children (ORWOCH), in collaboration with the Project Accountable Safe Space Women’s Accountability Room (PASSWAR), has held a focus group discussion to mainstream the UP-led government’s ARREST policy.

The government’s ARREST Agenda, which stands for Agriculture, Road, Rule of Law, Education, Sanitation, and Tourism, is a six-year development plan for Liberia.

ORWOCH Executive Director Atty. Mmonbeydo Nadine Joah says the meeting aims to ensure that women’s rights and their intersection with Liberia’s development challenges are integrated into the ARREST Agenda.

Atty. Joah explains that it also seeks to address multiple inequalities and disproportionate impacts faced by women, girls, and marginalized communities. This is essential for promoting gender equality and sustainable development in the country while systematically integrating gender considerations to ensure that the proposed measures benefit both women and men.

Facilitator Madam Chantal Bright notes that the ARREST policy is a very important development agenda for the next six years but could be improved in terms of gender-specific objectives.

Bright continues that gender-sensitive policies ensure both men and women benefit from agricultural development and contribute to food security and poverty reduction; hence, given the absence of gender-specific considerations and the need for more detailed data on the roles and experiences of men and women in the respective focus areas, there is a need for review.

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For her part, Madam Aisha Lai, Kvinna til Kvinna Country Director, calls on women leaders to coordinate and speak with one voice on the meeting’s outcomes. 

“When women and girls are put first, the nation succeeds. The world is looking at us because we have had one of the most democratic transitions compared to other nations in the region”, Madam Kvinna says.

ORWOCH is collaborating with Project Accountable Safe Space (PASS) Women’s Accountability Room – a consortium of grassroots women leaders and organizations dedicated to advancing the political rights of women, girls, and marginalized groups. 

PASS WAR aims to raise awareness, document, and ensure that grassroots women’s voices are included in the fight against barriers, particularly violence in all its forms that limit women’s political participation. 

The Focus Group discussion was supported as part of the POWER project with funds from Kvinna til Kvinna and the Embassy of Sweden. Editing by Jonathan Browne 

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