These women farmers in Liberia harvest wheat while singing and receive fair wages for their work. Oxfam has been one of the main advocates of fairer trade with farmers and producers around the world since the early 1960s.
Liberia is a West African country bordering Sierra Leone, Guinea, and Cote d’Ivoire. It has an estimated population of 4.6 million. The country is still recovering from decades of civil war and crises, as well as the 2014 Ebola crisis which claimed more than 4,800 lives and had a significant socio-economic impact.
Liberia ranks 181 of 189 on the Human Development Index (HDI) of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and has the third-lowest Gross Domestic Product per capita. More than half of the Liberian population lives on less than US$2 a day.
Today, about 51% of the people live in poverty, and 16% in extreme poverty. Liberia is one of the few countries where poverty increased between 2014 and 2016. Lack of clean water, inadequate sanitation, and poor hygiene practices continue to affect many communities, especially in rural areas and present a persistent risk of preventable waterborne diseases.
On the Gender Inequality Index, Liberia ranks 181 among 189 countries. Women are grossly underrepresented in political decision-making. Violence against women and girls is widespread, with about 40% of women reporting at least one instance of intimate partner violence in their lifetime.
Oxfam in Liberia
Oxfam has been working in Liberia since 1995, and our strategy has evolved according to the context – from responding to emergencies to long-term development.
Today, we work with and through local partners to improve access to essential services for Liberians and to enable them to claim their right to a better life without inequality.
Increase access to essential services
We provide access to safe drinking water and improved sanitation facilities in health units, schools and communities, particularly in rural areas.
We support advocacy for essential services – especially water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) and education – so more people can participate fully in economic, social and democratic life.
Support citizens to claim their right to a better life
We build and strengthen advocacy skills and networks, so more women and youth exercise their rights, influence decisions of people in power and hold them accountable.
Champion gender justice
We believe that gender inequality is one of the greatest barriers to poverty reduction and sustainable development, therefore, we promote policies and practices that challenge and redress unequal power relations between women, men, and youth in all our work.
We assist local organizations to advocate and lobby to engage policymakers to formulate and implement gender-sensitive, progressive policies reflecting gender justice. We support women’s leadership and political participation and work to reduce the prevalence of violence against women and girls within society.