Liberia lies on a total area of 111,370 km bounded by Guinea on the North, the Atlantic Ocean to the South, Cote d’Ivoire to the East and Sierra Leone to the West. The country has vast tropical rain forest vegetation and an equal number of rainy and dry months. Women account for 49% of the 3.5 million people; over half of Liberia’s population is below the age of 20 years, and children under 15 years old account for 46.8% of the population.

Liberia’s 14-year civil war devastated the country’s entire physical and organizational infrastructure. Commercial and productive activities ceased, communities were uprooted, and families separated. The social, political, and traditional governance systems were destroyed, and the economy completely collapsed.

Since 2005 and the election of Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf as Africa’s first female president, significant progress has been made, but the consequences of war remain particularly burdensome for women; rape and other forms of sexual violence continue as significant violations of women’s rights. During the war, the main perpetrators of gender-based violence (GBV) were fighting forces; today perpetrators are ex-combatants, community and family members, including teachers, husbands and fathers. For more information: Liberia Country Brief

UN Women in Liberia

UN Women has worked strategically in Liberia since 2004 and currently holds one of the biggest offices in West Africa. It works closely with the Liberian Government and other UN Agencies through joint development programmes and the “Delivering as One” UNDAF model. Some key initiatives include the establishment of the Liberia Women Empowerment Network, an association of women living with HIV, and the establishment of the Association of Women in Cross Border Trade. In addition, UN Women leads the Liberia Joint Programme for Gender Equality and Women’s Economic Empowerment and implements economic empowerment projects and training for Liberia’s Joint Programmes on Food Security and Nutrition, Adolescent Girls, and the Prevention and Response to SGBV.

UN Women Liberia has built networks of male advocates and community leaders committed to “zero tolerance” for violence against women, and has built and replicated the peace hut model, empowering community women to take action to combat violence and resolve disputes independently and with the support of the Police. UN Women supported Liberia in the development of its National Action Plan for the implementation of UN SCR 1325 and is supporting its implementation through ongoing support to the Ministries of Justice and Gender and Development. UN Women also supported Liberia in the development  of a gender-mainstreamed Poverty Reduction Strategy, the development and presentation of its 1st to 6thCEDAW report and development of its first national gender policy.

Ongoing Programmes :

  • Gender Responsive Planning and Budgeting
  • Engaging Women in Building Peace and Security
  • Women’s Economic Empowerment