Liberian Foreign Minister Visits Iceland Skip to content

Liberian Foreign Minister Visits Iceland

Foreign Minister of Liberia Olubanke King-Akerele spoke during a UNIFEM press conference in Iceland on Saturday, the International Women’s Day, talking about how women in her country have risen to power.

When Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf became president in 2006, a civil war had raged in Liberia for 15 years, King-Akerele said. During that time women and young girls were often raped and violence against women is still one of the biggest problems in the country, Morgunbladid reports.

One of Johnson-Sirleaf’s first jobs was to empower women and now five of Libera’s ministers are female and several women hold important officers within the administration. “The Chief of Police is female and many women are police officers,” King-Akerele added.

“The fight against gender-based violence against women is one of the headaches of our government,” King-Akerele said. “By facing this problem women can lay the groundwork for reconstructing our country.”

During the press conference, Deputy Executive Director for UNIFEM in New York Joanna Sandler said Iceland had made unique contributions to strengthening women’s fight for justice.

Saturday was the last day of the Butterfly Week (Fidrildavika) during which Icelandic women and men raised awareness about the physical and mental abuse inflicted upon women in war torn countries.

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