Source: The Daily Observer
The head of the United Nations Government, Joint Program on Gender Based Violence (GBV), has called on the Government of Liberia to improve incentives for women officers of the Liberia National Police (LNP).

If that is done, Dr. Maohumita Sarkar said, more women will be encouraged to be part of all levels of the security sector.

According to Sarkar, in October 2000, the UN Security Council passed Resolution 1325 on women and peace and security.

She pointed out that the mandate was the Council’s decision to reaffirm the important role women can play in the prevention and resolution of conflicts as well as their participation in maintaining peace.

But, according to Sarkar, her institution has been finding it difficult to implement the resolution in Liberia due to lack of encouragement for women in the security sector.

“Efforts to recruit more women police officers have born no encouraging results owing to the lack of incentive. You need to make the police incentive driven. How would you encourage more female police officers in the force or how would you encourage them to be deployed into other parts of the Country if you can’t give them incentives?” she wondered.

“Our survey proved that women are refusing to join the security sector owing to the lack of incentives,” Dr. Sarkar continued. “We have tried our best to attract more women in the force, but we have found it very difficult to encourage them to join the force. The reason is simple, incentives,” Sarkar emphasized.

The UN Joint GBV made the assertion on Thursday, May 17, 2012, at a one-day Gender Sector Round Table Discussion held at the Ministry of Gender and Development (MoGD) in Monrovia.

It was aimed at strengthening partnership between the ministry, donor agencies, development partners and civil society organizations for the promotion of gender equality and women’s empowerment in Liberia.

The forum,  among other things, seek to share the ministry’s framework for tracking gender equality results in Ministries, Agencies and Commission (MAC), as well as, to share the ministry policy priorities on gender equality and women’s empowerment linked to poverty reduction.

According to her, education was not any barrier for women joining the police. “Liberia has more educated women to join the force but we need to do more to encourage their participation into the country’s security sectors. This is what we are recommending for the police to be incentive-driven,” the UN GBV boss emphasized.

In her welcome remarks, Gender Development Minister Julia Duncan-Cassell said the forum was part of a strategic mechanism for multi-sector and multi-level responsibility as well as mutual accountability for gender equality results in Liberia.

“We need to ensure that gender equality is integral to all ministries, agencies and corporations’  policies, programs and plans and other initiatives, through targeted interventions for the least advantaged, as well as mainstreaming gender equality perspectives,” Minister Cassell assured the participants.

According to her, Liberia is a signatory to various regional and international protocols and legal commitments for gender equality and women’s empowerment.

“Building on this paradigm, Liberia’s National Gender Policy and Poverty Reduction Strategy (PRS) II recognizes that despite being a development objective, gender equality cuts across all other development objectives, and is therefore, legitimately binding and a necessary prerequisite for the achievement of national development goals,” she noted.

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