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At The Power to Do Something, we believe that in order to have the most significant impact, we need to target one country at a time and one county at a time. We have chosen to focus on the world 2nd poorest country, Liberia. Liberia is a small country in West Africa that is recovering from the lingering effects of 14 years of civil war and related economic dislocation with about 85 % of the population living on $1 a day. Although, Liberia elected the first female President in all of Africa, women still have limited opportunities and access to education, social and economic leadership positions. In addition, women in Liberia suffer from the lack of information and adequate health services and gender-based violence. According to Julia Duncan-Cassell, Minister of Gender and Development of the Republic of Liberia, empowering women economically has not only led to increase in their personal wellbeing, but that of society as a whole. Empowering and educating women is therefore our goal in helping to minimize poverty.


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Facts about women in Liberia

  • Illiteracy rates among women aged 15-49 are particularly high (60 percent) compared to men (30 percent). 42 percent of Liberian women and 18 percent of men have never attended school.
 
  • In rural areas, literacy rates are staggeringly low at 26 percent, while the gender gap in secondary school attendance is very high, with a net attendance ratio of 6 percent for females. While 19 percent of men have completed secondary school or higher, only 8 percent of women have accomplished the same.
 
  • Maternal mortality is one of the highest in the world, and is estimated at 994/100,000 births (DHS 2007). According to the 2007 Liberia Demographic and Health Survey, 48 percent of Liberian women become pregnant by the age of 18, and the unmet need for family planning is over 60 percent.