Liberia adopted its most recent National Action Plan (NAP) in 2019 for the period 2019-2023. The NAP was developed by the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection through a participatory approach that included consultations with key line ministries, agencies and commissions, civil society organizations, women’s groups, youth groups, media, and international partners. The NAP is constructed on five main pillars, reflective of the key pillars of UNSCR 1325: prevention, protection, participation, relief and recovery, and coordination and accountability. Each of these pillars have dedicated outcomes, outputs, indicators and activities, which support the following goals: women and girls’ safety, physical and mental health and security are assured and are fully protected under legislation and policies that promote their empowerment and full participation at all levels, in building sustainable and inclusive peace and security in Liberia. The NAP includes a detailed monitoring and implementation plan as well as an allocated budget.
Liberia’s second NAP is preceded by one other NAP, adopted in 2009 and implemented for the period 2009-2013. The NAP was developed by the Ministry of Gender and Development in consultation with civil society actors. The NAP’s objectives are compiled under four thematic pillars: protection; prevention; participation and empowerment; and promotion. Each pillar has corresponding strategic issues, priority areas, outputs, and indicators; nevertheless, these actions do not have allocated funds. Liberia’s second NAP follows a similar thematic structure, compiling the overall objectives under five pillars: prevention; protection; participation; relief and recovery; and coordination and accountability. The NAP also includes a standalone section on lessons learned from the implementation of the first NAP and provides a more substantive engagement with contextualizing the WPS agenda within the historical and political framework of Liberia. The second NAP’s monitoring and evaluation mechanism is more detailed as well, specifically through the inclusion of timeframes and an allocated budget for each outlined activity.
Liberia reported on the implementation of its NAP, as well as WPS commitments, in its national reporting for Beijing+25 and in preparation for CSW64 (2020). Specifically, the country provided the following updates, among others:
- With a goal of ‘a more peaceful, unified society that enables economic transformation and sustainable development’, the Government of Liberia is committed to compliance with human rights obligations as per treaties acceded. It has set national targets in the Social Cohesion and Reconciliation (SCORE)6 index to increase civic trust and co- existence from 52% to 70% and to reduce the index for violent tendencies from 19% to 5%. (p. 12)
- The Peace Hut initiative was established after the civil war and during the first term of former President H.E Madam Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, providing a safe space for women in rural communities to discuss issues that plague them especially relating to conflict resolution. There are over 36 Peace Huts established across the country … At the Peace Huts women mediate problems, run projects and businesses, and advocate for women’s rights. (p. 39)
- The Ministry of Gender Children and Social Protection with support from UN Women, provided training for 47 female candidates in campaign strategies; message development, mapping, debating and public speaking.
- Also, 25 women were trained from September 25-28, 2017 in Gbarnga, Bong County, to serve as election observers in 25 selected districts across the country. The training was in collaboration with the Women Peace and Security Institute, with funding from Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Center.
- As an outcome of the Colloquium, a Leadership building platform through Mentorship was established for young women and youth. In this light the Ministry will be training 30 young leaders in leadership skills under the Theme: Unleashing the Leadership in Young Women and Youth. Currently, women comprise 12.3% in the House of Representatives and make up 10.0% in the Senate.
- The Government of Liberia, as a High National Level Target in the PAPD (2018-2023), has committed to increasing the political participation of women at the national and local levels to reach a target of 30% by 2023.
- In addition, prior to the passage of the Liberian Local Government Act in 2018, the Government implemented the Liberia Decentralization Support Program which provided training for women and girls leadership to participate in local governance. The Local Government Act is also gender sensitive as it exclusively provides 2 out of 7 members local assembly seats for women. In turn, women can compete for the remaining 5 seats. (p. 75)
The most recent armed conflict in Liberia’s history was the two civil wars, which took place from 1989-1997 and 1999-2003. The United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) was established in 2003 to support the implementation of the ceasefire and peace process, and departed in 2018, after 15 years in the country. Women have played a key role in Liberia’s peace and reconciliation efforts, in particular through the establishment of the Women of Liberia Mass Action for Peace. Women’s active campaigning led to the signing of the Accra Peace Agreement in 2003. While women were excluded from mediator and signatory roles, they represented 17% of witnesses. Additionally, the agreement had multiple provisions addressing women’s rights.