Central Bank of Liberia Governor Pushes for More Gender Balance

Governor Weeks delivering keynote address at Women's Conference
Governor Weeks delivering keynote address at Women's Conference
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MONROVIA – March 22, 2018:  The Executive Governor of the Central Bank of Liberia (CBL), Mr. Milton A. Weeks, has said that the CBL will recommend to its Board to support legislation for gender balance on the Board of Governors of the bank. The Governor said the provision, if approved by the Board, will be among proposed amendments to the CBL Act that the bank will be submitting to the Executive this year for onward submission to the national legislature. Presently, the Act calls for the board members to bear a wide range of qualifications in the areas of business, finance and economics, but is silent on gender. 

 

Speaking in Monrovia Tuesday, March 21, 2018, when he served as guest speaker at the second women’s conference organized by the Liberian Chamber of Commerce (LCC) and the International Finance Corporation (IFC) under the theme, “More Women, Better Boards,” Governor Weeks, stressed that though the Bank has made strides in promoting women at senior management levels, including the consistent female representation at the Board of Governors of the bank,  there still exists a pervasively narrow sense of a woman’s value in the society and at work places.

 

The word ‘woman’ Mr. Weeks observed, is still interpreted strictly as set of physical attributes that lend themselves to the noble roles of childbearing and homemaking. But even in their traditional roles, he observed, women turn out to be society’s most prolific decision makers, setting the standards for their families in terms of education, health, fashion, housing and extracurricular activities. Women, he noted, make these same decisions at the national level through their engagement in agriculture, textiles and a wide array of business pursuits.

 

Governor Weeks, then welcomed the forum not only to foster discussions on gender diversity but also to back it up with empirical data that helps to indicate what challenges women face in obtaining seats at decision making tables, and what advantages women can bring to such forums.

 

The Governor boasted of the strides the CBL has made over the last ten years to promote gender diversity in a ‘notoriously male dominated field such as banking.’ While men still constitute the majority of the bank’s senior management, Governor Weeks noted that some women are quickly rising in the Bank.  He assured participants that the bank will continue to stand up for women’s inclusion at all levels and in all sectors of Liberia’s economy, leading by example by ensuring female representation internally at the senior management level and pushing for it on the bank’s board.

 

World Bank Country Manager, Larisa Leshekenko, who also addressed the Forum, said women are key to the economic development of Liberia. Ms. Leshekenko called for more women representation at senior management levels because of the value they bring to the table. “It has been proven that women have immense potentials as engines of growth and economic development. Consequently, empowering them becomes beneficial to the society at large,” she maintained.

 

The conference was meant to drive forward the diversity agenda in Liberia, by encouraging and enabling more women to become actively involved in decision-making spaces including boards across all sectors in Liberia.