Monrovia - On 14 December 2017, the Ministries of Justice, Defense and Gender, Children and Social Protection supported by the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) convened a Conference of Women in the Security Sector under the slogan ‘Nothing for Us, Without Us,’ at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs premises.
The UNMIL Security Sector Reform representative, Mr. Michael Page, noted that although significant progress has been made in mainstreaming gender into the Liberia’s security sector process, there are some aspects that require robust reform and strengthening. “These challenges consequently pose major obstacles to an inclusive security sector that can sustain the peace after the full withdrawal of the peacekeeping mission from Liberia,” said Mr. Page.
The conference aimed to bring together key stakeholders from across Liberia to identify the main challenges that women face in the security sector and consensus on solutions and recommendations in prevention and response to sexual and gender based violence in the security institutions.
In attendance of the conference were around 120 participants representing security sectors institution, civil society groups and international partners, including the Swedish Ambassador, African Union Ambassador, representatives from ECOWAS, US Embassy, UNDP, UNICEF, UNHCR, UNMIL and UN Women.
The conference involved panels of discussions on situation of women in the security sector and trajectories of the first females that jointed the security institutions. The conference concluded with Gender Champions Awards that honored 15 men and women for their efforts in promoting gender equality and fighting violence against women in the security sector.