By Lizzy Okoji
The President of the ECOWAS Parliament, Mr. Sidie Tunis, said that the Fifth Parliament is keen to take concrete steps to ensure the empowerment of women in the West African sub-region.
Tunis made it known Monday at the Liberian and Sierra Leonean border post of Bo Waterside where he was received by the representative of the Liberian government, Senator Edwin Snowe.
Tunis was received by the representative of the Liberian authority ahead of the delocalized meeting of the ECOWAS Parliament on the empowerment of women scheduled for April 13-17 in Monrovia, Liberia.
Tunis said the goal of the delocalized meeting was to turn discussions and protocols regarding women’s empowerment into action, and for women to become more inclusive in all sectors.
He said the fifth legislature under his leadership strives to ensure that women have a mandatory 30% representation in the ECOWAS Parliament.
According to the speaker, it is time to seek and work with women as partners so that they can be present where decisions are made on their behalf.
The President noted that twenty-five years later after the adoption o, noting that twenty-five years later after the adoption of the Beijing Declaration, there had not been much impact on empowerment women.
Tunis noted, however, that Liberia had been chosen by ECOWAS to host the delocalized meeting on women’s empowerment given the success achieved in producing the first female president and vice-president in the sub-region.
“We’re here for a very important meeting, a delocalized meeting. I decided that we would have the first extraordinary session in Sierra Leone and the first delocalized meeting in Liberia.
And the subject for Liberia is so interesting. That is to say the empowerment of women in the West African sub-region.
“There’s no way Liberia couldn’t be a place for this kind of subject as it was Liberia that produced the first female president and a few years later they also produced the first. female vice-president.
“And we don’t know if we’re going to have more and more female presidents coming from Liberia, so it’s up to her to discuss as parliamentarians how we can empower women.
“Twenty-five years after the Beijing declaration, there have only been discussions and discussions, but now we are talking about actions and how we can turn the talks into action.
“This is why we are going to be in Monrovia all week, April 13-17,” Tunis said.
Tunis also thanked President George Weah of Liberia for his support to the ECOWAS Parliament.
Speaking on behalf of the Liberian Authority, Senator Snowe commended Tunis for its efforts in strengthening regional integration since he became president of the fifth legislature.
Snowe noted that Tunis’s entry into Liberia via the border was significant, further underscoring its interest in strengthening regional integration.
“We came this morning to welcome His Excellency, Hon Mohamed Sidi Tunis, Speaker of the ECOWAS Parliament in Liberia.
“Liberia and Sierra Leone are only defined by this little water and the speaker’s constituency is just across the road.
“When this mission was planned to Liberia, the President said that there was no way to fly over his people in Liberia, but that he would drive there.
“Today, I am very happy to receive Mr. President on behalf of our President. For me this visit means a lot.
“As you know, many years ago we had a civil crisis in Liberia and this bridge was used to trade weapons that killed our people, but today this very bridge is used to unite our two peoples.
“When the President of the ECOWAS Parliament comes from Sierra Leone, crossing this bridge to strengthen regional integration, peace and security in our region,” Snowe said. (NOPE)
LIZ / SH
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