A 5 year strategic plan for MoGD: Yesterday, the Policy Department organized a gender sector roundtable to strengthen the working relationship between the MoGD, MACs (Ministries and Agencies), donor agencies and other partners. The two-hour roundtable spearheaded by Minister of Gender, Julia Ducan-Cassell had presentations by Annette Kiawu, Deputy Minister for Research and Technical Services and Jewel Howard-Taylor, Senator from Bong County among the notable ones.
Main takeaway points:
1. The National Gender Policy (2009) looks at direct intervention of the government to induct ‘gender mainstreaming’ in 4 areas – education, health, justice and agriculture.
2. Each sector is mandated to produce sex disaggregated data to understand the targeting of women in each of these sectors.
3. The recently formed Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) unit led by an international consultant Mabuya Mubarak has come up with a rating system (Good/ Promising/ Fair/ Not Satisfactory) based on a set of specific criteria.
4. The process to institutionalize gender within the budget (the new budget year starts 1 July) is being tried within the Finance Ministry, albeit with a number of challenges.
My thoughts: Liberia’s vision 2030 sees the small West African country as a middle-income nation, ruled by democratic principles and well on the way to economic stability. Whilst the country will continue to receive substantial aid chiefly due to the credibility of senior women leaders committed to rule of law and democracy, the challenge will be to conceive and enact laws that bridge the gap between the reality and improving situation in Monrovia and the rest of the country (15 counties), that Senator Taylor referred to as the ‘real Liberia’.