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Panelists Support Passage Of Affirmative Action Act
Date Uploaded: Aug 16, 2016

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Panelists Support Passage Of Affirmative Action Act
By Ballah M. Kollie

MONROVIA, August 16 (LINA) – Ten panelists at the final hearing of the Affirmative Action for Equitable Participation and Representation Act of 2016 have called for the passage of the Act into law.

In separate presentations, the panelists said the targeted population (women, youth and disabled) have long been marginalized by society and it was therefore time for them to be given the opportunity to exercise their political rights.

The panelists included representatives from the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection; Christian Association of the Blind; Mano River Youth Parliament and the National Civil Society of Liberia.

Also making presentations were the Association of Female Lawyers of Liberia; Paramount Young Women Initiative and a representative of the United Nations Women.

The hearing was held on Monday, August 15, in the chamber of the Liberian Senate on Capitol Hill in Monrovia.

Analysis suggests 99.9 percent support for the passage of the bill, but with a recommendation for the removal of the clause that calls for one of the youth seats to be exclusively set aside for females.

According to the proposed Act, 21 new constituencies will be created in the House of Representatives, with15 set aside exclusively for women making it one seat in each county, while three seats each will go to the youth and people living with disabilities.

The Speaker of the Mano River Youth Parliament, Melvin S. Sarh, opposed the proposal setting aside one of the three seats apportioned to youth and people living with disabilities exclusively for females, opting that it be scrapped so that all youth will participate.

For Montserrado Senator Geraldine Sheriff, it is time that men provide the means by which they and their female counterparts can walk side-by-side by passing the Affirmative Action Act of 2016.

The Act is sponsored by the Women Legislative Caucus of Liberia with funding from the UN Women.
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