UN Assistant Secretary General and UN Women Deputy Executive Director Visit Liberia
30 June 2022
Assistant Secretary-General of the United Nations, Asa Regner, has concluded her first official visit to Liberia.
During her visit, she held several strategic meetings with high-level government officials and women leaders. She also interacted with women who are beneficiaries of UN Women interventions in Liberia.
Ms. Regner was accompanied by UN Women Regional Director for West and Central Africa, Ms. Oulimata Sarr.
Some of the high-level officials that Ms. Regner met include, Vice President of Liberia, Chief Dr. Jewel Howard Taylor; Minister of Foreign Affairs, Hon. Dee-Maxwell Saah Kemayah; Acting Minister of Justice, Hon. Nyanti Tuan, Minister of Gender, Children and Social Protection, Hon. Williametta Saydee Tarr; and Minister of Internal Affairs, Hon. Varney Sirleaf. Ms. Regner also had a chance to meet the UN Country Team and members of the diplomatic community and development partners.
During her engagements, Ms. Regner emphasized UN Women’s commitment to support the Government and people of Liberia to promote gender equality and women empowerment in the country.
She noted that Liberia has made important strides to advance the rights of women and girls over the past two decades through legislative reforms and targeted programmes to eradicate discriminatory barriers and harmful practices such as female genital mutilation, despite challenges.
Ms. Regner had an opportunity to visit the vocational and heritage centre in Todee in Montserrado County constructed by UN Women under the European Union, and UN Spotlight Initiative. UN Women is establishing four vocational and heritage centres in four Counties to provide alternative economic livelihood programs to traditional practitioners as part of interventions to eliminate FGM in Liberia. The centres will serve as dedicated learning centres for traditional practitioners and young women and girls to acquire new livelihood skills.
Ms. Regner also interacted with former traditional practitioners of female genital mutilation. At least 300 traditional practitioners have benefitted from the alternative economic livelihood programme, which was launched in December 2019 under the Spotlight Initiative.
Speaking at the Spotlight Initiative occasion, which was held in Sonkay, Todee District, Montserrado County, UN Resident Coordinator, Niels Scott, noted the great privilege accorded to the UN team and delegation to have been received by the people of Sonkay town. He stated, "what we’ve heard and what we’ve seen in Sonkay is impressive in trying to eliminate FGM". He further shared, "We’ve seen a very firm commitment by the elders, by the people of Sonkay town, by the mothers to eradicate this notorious activity". We’ve got that commitment. I don’t think we have achieved 100% success straight away but we are certainly on the way to doing that".
The UN Women Deputy Executive Director ,Ms. Asa Regner, was also delighted to meet various women’s groups and young women leaders to discuss opportunities for enhancing women’s participation in politics and leadership. Ms. Regner also applauded the contributions made to peace building, justice, and conflict resolution by members of the Fish Market Women’s Peace Hut, who shared their experience of how they are contributing.to strengthening social cohesion and supporting women's access to justice
Gradiah Walker Bou Hussein
Associate Development Coordination Officer
Programme Communications & Advocacy