The newly inducted President of the Women Entrepreneurs Development Organization or WEDO, Madam Precious Cooper-Wheigar says women of Liberia are critical to national growth and economic sustenance.
According to her, official government documents have revealed that women in Liberia are responsible for 93 percent of food crop production and conduct more than 85 percent of all marketing and trading in the country.
“Women also provide more than 54% of the national labor force in addition to performing household chores and caring for their families. The records also show that majority of women in Liberia are the primary breadwinners in their families”, she Cooper-Wheigar notes.
Speaking at the induction of officers-elect of the organization Friday, 4 December in the Auditorium of the University of Liberia in Monrovia, Madam Copper-Wheigar said experts believe that a key indicator for economic sustainability and poverty for any nation lies in in the strategic empowerment of women and girls, Liberia being no exception.
“If our nation is going to reduce poverty and sustain her economic agains, we must commit ourselves and our resources to creating an enabling environment that is sure to unleash the untapped power, energy, and creativity of the Liberian woman. Empowering women has a multifaceted, multi-sectoral, and inter-generational impact that goes far beyond dollars and cents and extends to national health and education, while at the same time strengthening human capital, which is an indispensable ingredient for defeating poverty, inequality and vulnerability in any nation.”
She said although women play pivotal role in the national economy, and have great potential for business success, they are faced with numerous challenges that stagnate growth and suppress their overall productivity.
The WEDO president named three of these challenges as lack of basic business training, lack of access to credit and lack of mentoring.
“It is these challenges and needs that the Women Entrepreneurs Development Organization (or WEDO for short) is set to tackle. WEDO will strive to build the capacity of, and stand beside the Liberian business woman to be successful and gain personal dignity. Our strategy is simple: Community. We will build communities of women entrepreneurs who will do life together. For too long have we been the victims of walking alone. No business owner in this day and age, no matter the size of your business, can be a lone ranger and expect to attain business success. We shall seek to build strong business communities that are sure to produce strong businesses- and that is our overarching goal.”