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Carter Center Issues Recommendations for Greater Access to Information by Women in Liberia

Contact: Alphonsus Zeon, senior program coordinator, Access to Information Project, The Carter Center at 0886522916.

Carter Center Issues Recommendations for Greater Access to Information by Women in Liberia

Read the full report (PDF)
Read the recommendations (PDF)

MONROVIA- The Carter Center's Access to Information project, working with the Ministry of Gender and Development, the Ministry of Information, Cultural Affairs and Tourism, and the Women's NGO Secretariat (WONGOSOL) , has released recommendations for addressing the inequities that Liberian women face in the exercise of the right of information.

On July 10, 2014, 47 government representatives, traditional community leaders, and civil society champions working to advance transparency, accountability, freedom of information, and women's rights met to discuss the recent Carter Center study "Women and the Right of Access to Information in Liberia." The study established empirical evidence that women do not access pubic information with the same facility as men, identified the main obstacles facing women in the exercise of their right to information, and highlighted the information women deem most important for increased economic empowerment.

Stakeholders considered creative solutions to overcome obstacles facing women and developed priority recommendations for government, civil society, and joint stakeholder efforts. The recommendations call for establishing an Inter-Ministerial Committee to promote access to information for women, especially for economic empowerment, review relevant policies, and make recommendations, on how to assure women may access public information and participate in decision-making. The group also called for training to make public officials more sensitive to requests from women and greater proactive publication and dissemination of information to women.

Recommendations for civil society include increased engagement and sensitization of women's groups, advocacy for women's right of access to information, and support for women requesters. Participants agreed that all stakeholders should work together to raise awareness of women's right to information, establish a stakeholder committee, and develop effective monitoring systems to assess efforts at increasing women's access to information and its impact.

The Ministers of Gender and Development, Education, and Information, Cultural Affairs and Tourism, as well as participants from the stakeholder meeting, have committed themselves to promoting equitable access of information for all Liberians, particularly those who are traditionally excluded, such as women. The proposed recommendations serve as a plan of action for engagement and advancement to further assure a meaningful right to information for the women of Liberia.

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