By Lizzy Okoji
Speaker of the ECOWAS Parliament, Mr Sidie Tunis, says the Fifth Parliament is keen on taking concrete actions to ensure the empowerment of women across the West-African sub-region.
Tunis made this known on Monday at the Liberian and Sierra Leonean Bo Waterside border Post where he was received by representative of the Liberian government, Sen. Edwin Snowe.
Tunis was received by the representative of the Liberian authority ahead of the ECOWAS Parliament’s delocalized meeting on Women Empowerment scheduled to hold from April 13 to April 17 in Monrovia, Liberia.
Tunis said the focus of the delocalised meeting was to transform the talks and protocols concerning women empowerment into actions, and for women to become more inclusive across all sectors.
He said that the fifth legislature under his leadership is pushing to ensure that women have a mandatory 30 per cent representation in the ECOWAS Parliament.
According to the speaker, it is time to look and work with women as partners so that they can be present where decisions are taken on their behalf.
The Speaker noted that twenty five years down the line after the adoption o, noting that twenty five years down the line after the adoption of the Beijing Declaration, not much impact has been made in women empowerment.
Tunis however noted that Liberia was chosen by the ECOWAS to host the delocalized meeting on Women Empowerment considering the success attained by producing the first female President ad Vice President in the sub-region.
“We are here for a very important meeting, a delocalized meeting. I decided that we will have the first Extraordinary Session in Sierra Leone and the first delocalized meeting in Liberia.
And the topic for Liberia is so interesting. That is, the empowerment of women in the West African Sub-region.
“There is no way Liberia cannot be a venue for that kind of topic considering that it is Liberia that has produced the first female President and just few years down the line, they also produced the first female vice President.
“And we do not know whether we are going to have more and more female Presidents coming from Liberia so we are her to discuss as Parliamentarians how we can empower women.
“Twenty Five years after the Beijing declaration it has just been talks and talks but now, we are talking about actions and how we can transform the talks to action.
“That is why we are going to be in Monrovia for the whole week, from April 13 to April 17”, Tunis said.
Tunis also appreciated President George Weah of Liberia for his support to the ECOWAS Parliament.
Speaking on behalf of the Liberian Authority, Sen. Snowe commended Tunis for his efforts in strengthening regional integration since he became speaker of the fifth legislature.
Snowe noted that Tunis coming into Liberia crossing through the border was significant which further highlights his interest on strengthening regional intergration.
“We have come this morning to welcome his Excellency, Hon Mohamed Sidi Tunis, Speaker of the ECOWAS Parliament to Liberia.
“Liberia and Sierra Leone is only defined by this little water and the constituency of the speaker is just across.
“When this mission was planned to Liberia, the Speaker said there was no way he could fly over his people into Liberia but he will drive in.
“Today I am very happy to receive Mr Speaker on behalf of our President. For me this visit means a lot.
“As you know, many years ago, we had a civil crises in Liberia and this bridge was used to trade arms that killed our people but today, this very bridge is being used to unite our two people.
“When the speaker of the ECOWAS Parliament comes from Sierra Leone, driving through this bridge to enhance regional integration, peace and security in our region”, Snowe said. (NAN)