BY: Lazota Bility
Paynesville-: The Ministry of Gender Children and Social Protection in collaboration with UN Women and Women’s Right Groups during the weekend officially Launched the 16days of Activism in Liberia. The advocacy activity places strong focus on reviewing Gender Based Violence challenges and its impact on the democracy and growth of the nation.
The 16 Days of Activism is an activity that commences November 25th of each year to the 10th of December. During this period, advocates, activists and human rights defenders design strategies to combat issues facing women and children in society.
The Ministry’s theme for this year is “Unite, Invest to Prevent Violence Against Women and Girls in Liberia”.
Serving as Launcher of the ceremony , Madam Josephine Nkrumah, Representative of ECOWAS in Liberia emphasized on unity as a major tool to combating violence against Women and Girls. She urged political leaders to see GBV as a national issue and collectively work in the interest of the ordinary majority.
” We must Do Activism in unity as Women and men to end Violence against women and Girls”
The ECOWAS Representative however, Lauded the Weah-Taylor Administration along with traditional leaders for their efforts made so far in ending Female Genital Mutilation (FGM).
Madam Nkrumah then challenged women and girls to see Activism as part of their Lives that should never end after the 16days of Activism activities.
“We have seen Lots of Work under the Weah-Taylor Administration in ending FGM through the help of our Traditional Leaders we appreciate them, I believe if we work together we can make things happen; without women, development at the higher Level cannot be attained “she added
Speaking at the program, UN Women Country Representative Madam Comfort Lamptey said the causes of GBV is very significant all over the world and investment into the curtailment of it remains key.
She acknowledged the government’s effort in fighting GBV through economic programs on the national scale. The UN Women boss attributed GBV impact to hindering growth and development of some countries.
“I will like to acknowledge the efforts made by the Liberian Government in placing prevention at the full Front of development efforts in creating an environment for problems to be addressed through the passage of some of the Laws , We have also seen some Commitment to programming the SGBV road block which the honorable Minister Williametta E. Saydee Tarr Champion passionately , like the Rape Law and Domestic Violence Bill
At the same time, the US Ambassador to Liberia John Mark spoke on the prevention of Gender Based Violence in all forms and manner; stressing, that Gender Based Violence is a human right abuse and a manifestation of unequal power of Gender
” Gender Based Violence is not only a Gender Issues, it’s also not an individual and family issue, everyone has a role to play in preventing Gender Based Violence”
The Ambassador then committed the United States Government’s commitment to promoting democracy, preventing Human right and Gender Equality.
” We have trained 3,433 Individuals on the scale to prevent Gender Based Violence, including promoting more awareness, we also trained 5000 youths and we are working closely with the Government of Liberia to Calm down Gender Based Violence” Mr Mark said
Meanwhile, Gender Minister Williametta E. Saydee Tarr, Lauded partners and participants for their continued support towards the fight of Gender Based Violence in Liberia.
The 16 days of Activism for No Violence against Women and Children Campaign this year will be commemorated under the theme: “Accelerating Actions to end Gender Based Violence and Femicide, leaving no one behind”, a call to action to raise awareness about the devastating impact that gender-based violence and femicide (GBVF) has on women, children, and the entire social fabric.
According to the Gender Ministry Statistics on GBV, 2022 SGBV Statistics, there were 1,975 cased reported. 64.4% accounts for rape ( gang rape & sodomy) while 33.6% accounts for other forms of GBV.
Of the total number, 65% involved Females & under age girls.
Between January to August 2023, the Ministry reported 2,109 GBV cases. 68.5% (1,446) accounts for rape. Including rape and Sodomy; 68% (1,440) accounting for under 18years old, with Nimba, Lofa, Grand Cape Mount and Montserrado Counties reporting the highest numbers.