Hon. Isata Kabia enlightened that she believes in consultation, needs inputs from the Forum and other stakeholders that she would cascade her vision affirming that all stakeholders have a role to play, urged women not to shy away from their responsibilities and also promised to look into the political stalemate in the Republic of Liberia.
The Minister went on to state that she would put together a 3-months program as this is the most critical time in the country, that she does not care about one’s education but intensions and prayed for their intensions for women and children as well as the country to be good and realized.
She also underscored that the entire country is watching her reiterating that in all the places she has worked, she has prioritized women and children’s issues affirming that women in positions of responsibility should be judged individually.
According to the Minister, working for women and children is not a job but an opportunity and promised to succeed on her interpersonal relations insisting that she has a lot of work to do as she wants to succeed as a woman in a man’s world intimating that with 500 workers in the Ministry there are bound to be conflicts.
She continued that she wants more space for women to be brought on board through collaboration and highlighting issues affecting them adding that she would dialogue with political parties to offer seats to women in the newly-created constituencies nationwide.
The Minister also articulated that inspite of the challenges, women have made history over the years, called for the provision of sanitary pads to school girls to prevent them from going to school and appealed to all to show love and compassion to each other intimating that on 6th January every community should undertake a project to clean, paint and do community work underscoring that nothing would work in the country without women.
Earlier, Mrs. Maude Regina Peacock, President of the Women’s Forum welcomed and thanked the Minister for accepting them at short notice, that the Ministry is a hot seat, that she is not the first Minister that the Forum has welcomed and prayed that God would see her through.
She also advised the Minister to practice effective inter-personal administration that is key to effective administration, prayed that God would direct and lead her to overcome the challenges and appealed to the Minister for an office space so that the Forum can use the rent to help vulnerable women and children.
The President of the Forum went on to appeal to the Minister to facilitate training programs for the Forum, especially for a continuation of the one in Israel and commended the former Minister, Dr. Sylvia Blyden for facilitating it.
She also informed the Minister that it was the Forum that advocated for 8th March, International Women’s Day, to be declared a public holiday intimating that the day is used to raise funds for their programs and invited the Minister to join them in their 16 days of activism on the theme ‘Violence Against Women, Leave No Women Behind.’
She also informed that the 16 days of activism would be climaxed with Muslim and Christian thanksgiving services at the Congo Cross Mosque on Friday 8th and Bathsheba Church, Baryne Lane, Off Aberdeen Road on Sunday 10th December 2017 to pray for the end of violence against women.
Dr. Nimata Majecks-Walker of the 50/50 Group disclosed that they had planned a long time ago to visit the Minister, that they have confidence in her although she only has three months in office recalling that the Minster as former Member of Parliament in Port Loko District scored the highest number of votes, assured her that with prayers and God nothing is impossible and highlighted the challenges in the Ministry.
Mrs. Yasmin Jusu-Sheriff Fofanah of MARWOPNET reminded the Minister about the political stalemate in the Republic of Liberia for which they want to present a letter to her and commended President Ernest Koroma for appointing the Minister to the position.
She continued that as a mother, the Minister would readily resolve conflicts not only in the Ministry but the country and guaranteed her of their support and cooperation urging her to properly manage the Ministry for women to be held in high esteem as well as promote the welfare of women and children.
According to Mrs. Yasmin Jusu Sheriff, the Minister would not be like her predecessors and appealed to her to work on the 30% affirmative action for women and enactment of the Gender Policy.
The representative of the women sweepers disclosed that they have not received their stipends for six months.
Some of the organizations that attended the event included the 50/50 Group, Mano River Union Women’s Peace Network (MARWOPNET) and the Women Sweepers
Highlights of the well-attended program were the presentation of the report of the training program in Israel, a bouquet of flowers that will bring fine smell to energize the Minister, decoration of the Minister with the Forum’s Badge, presentation of a Christmas card to the Minister and singing of the Forum song.