H.E. Dr. George Manneh Weah, President of the Republic of Liberia 3rd Annual Message delivered to the 54th National Legislature

Annual-Address1

Madam Vice President and President of the Senate, Mr. Speaker, Mr. President Pro-Tempore and Honorable Members of the 54th Legislature:

When I took the oath of office on January 22, 2018, I committed our country to upholding the dignity of human rights, and to the protection of the vulnerable population, including women, girls, children, the elderly, young people and people living with disabilities.

To that end, I am pleased to inform you today, that during the period under review, my government has implemented several programs which can serve as testimonies to the fulfilment of the promises we made.

One of the most important developments in this regard is your passage during your Second Session of the Domestic Violence Bill. I am pleased to report that I signed this landmark Bill into law in August last year, and it has been printed into Handbills to become effective for implementation.

As Liberia’s Feminist-in-Chief, I remain committed to making gender main-streaming a matter of priority in the formulation of policies and programs that will drive the development of Liberia in the future. To that end, we intend to establish Gender and Social Inclusion Units in all government ministries, agencies and commissions. We are grateful to have received initial funding for this initiative from the Millennium Challenge Account - Liberia.

As a way of ensuring a systematic approach towards protection, the Gender Based Violence Comprehensive Prevention Strategy of “Leaving No One Behind” was developed and validated, to highlight the protection of women, girls, men and boys against sexual and gender based violence (SGBV), including marginalized groups.

A Memorandum of Understanding has been signed between the Ministry of Internal Affairs, the National Council of Chiefs and Elders of Liberia, and the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection in June last year, to suspend all bush schools for a period of one year.

This period will be used to conduct an inventory of traditional groves and map-out traditional practitioners as an agreeable action in ending harmful traditional practices in Liberia.

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