President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf
‘Empower Women,’ Say Global Female Leaders
(Courtesy of Japan Times)
MONROVIA, September 1 (LINA) -Women have made significant achievements in all levels of society but “it is equally clear that we are not there yet,” Liberian President and Nobel Peace Prize winner Ellen Johnson Sirleaf said in Tokyo Friday.
Speaking on the first day of the second World Assembly for Women, Sirleaf, who was awarded the prize in 2011 for her work on women’s rights and peace-building, stressed the need to continue tackling all issues hindering women’s participation in society.
Advising that men should observe the movement as an opportunity and investment for the benefit of societal and national prosperity, Sirleaf applauded the men who have worked to help ensure women’s equal rights, opportunities and participation in all fields.
She praised Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s commitment to promoting women’s engagement in society as bringing “focus to discussion on the issues that are often relegated as secondary concern.” It is “a call to global leaders to act with courage to bring about a change,” she said.
Abe earlier told the conference that the Diet enacted a bill, taking effect in April, to require all companies to draw up and submit a voluntary action plan incorporating numerical targets for promoting the hiring of women and the appointment of females to executive positions.
“This is a step forward to increase the number of women to decision-making positions,” he stressed.
According to a World Economic Forum study on gender equality, Japan placed 104th among 142 assessed countries in 2014.
Abe pledged to address this and support female entrepreneurs, saying that the number of enterprises started by women has decreased over the past decade and accounted for less than 20 percent of all startups.