BARCLAY TRAINING CENTER, MONROVIA- 28 MARCH 2022: The Ministry of National Defense and the Armed Forces of Liberia launched their gender policy and five-year action plan at an event held at the Grand Royal Hotel in Monrovia on Friday, 25 March 2022.
The gender policy is aimed at promoting equal opportunities for all personnel and advance gender equality within the institutions. The policy will act as a guiding document, outlining the strategic priorities and actions for achieving gender equality and integrating a gender perspective in the Ministry of National Defense and the Armed Forces of Liberia.
Senior officials in the Ministry of National Defense and the Armed Forces of Liberia and staff from the gender and social inclusion unit; representatives from government ministries, partner organizations, the media, representatives of the diplomatic community and UN Women attended the launch event.
The Deputy Minister of National Defense, Hon. Tibli Olandrous Dickson, who launched the gender policy, highlighted that, initially he did not understand the importance of mainstreaming gender in the Ministry of National Defense but with time, he realized the significance of having a gender program and now they are intentional about gender mainstreaming.
In his special remarks, His Excellency, the Ambassador of Sweden, Urban Sjostrom, emphasized the importance of investing in gender equality so that men and women have the same opportunities, particularly in terms of rights, representation and resources. He noted that gender responsive budgeting is key because both men and women should benefit from resources.
Ambassador Sjostrom said that he was happy that the Ministry of National Defense was not just launching a gender policy only but a gender policy and an action plan for implementation.
Meanwhile, Ms. Ghoma Karloweah, the Acting Head of Programs for UN Women Liberia, paid tribute to the government of Sweden for the financial support to develop the gender policy. She highlighted that she was looking forward to seeing more women being recruited at the county level. Ms. Karloweah pledged UN Women’s commitment to providing technical capacity to ensure that women retain their jobs. She also highlighted that UN Women advocates for the promotion of women to decision making positions and urged partners to provide resources for implementation of the action plan.
Most of the speakers congratulated the Ministry of National Defense and the Armed Forces of Liberia for developing the gender policy and thanked partners for the support provided.
UN Women supported the development of the gender policy and action plan with funding from the Government of Sweden.