“Improvement In Living Standards Will Eliminate Risks Affecting Girls”…Women’s Rights Advocate Discloses

By: Jerromie S. Walters

Monrovia, Liberia: In commemoration of the international Day of the girl child, prominent Liberian women’s rights advocate Ne-Suah Beyan Livingstone is urging national government to ensure an improvement in the living standards of Liberians in an effort to eliminate risks affecting young women and girls.

In a special interview recently, the Women rights activist said
if the livelihood improved in terms of access to better life, chances of street selling by kids, increase in rape, and other national problem will reduce as everyone will be capacitated to do the needful for their kids.

“There are still many of our daughters who are still sitting home and no means of going to school, there are many of them who are still being pushed into sande society by their parents or their guardians, there are many of them who are still being raped, domestically abused, and my fear is that after this generation, the battle will become even more tougher for our little ones that are trying to grow up because the opportunity and access to Education and better living is still a manute portion when it comes to girls having the opportunities”, she said.

Ne-suah considered the essence of improving the living standard of the ordinary citizens as one of the several major weaknesses which she said several governments have missed out on, as well as giving girls the opportunity to education.

She further articulated that failure of state authority in making available what will improve the lives of the ordinary people, a safe space for girls will not be easily ensured.

“Until public facilities/institutions are cheaper, affordable and up to standards even better then private institutions, there will more weaknesses instead of strength or gains. “A parent who can’t afford private school, will not even have that dream to send their children to public school, she feels that I’m bewitching my child and that’s the fact because the public schools have declined to the lowest. You have many of our public school teachers who find jobs at private institutions because they want better pay and you have many of them who stay out of the classrooms in demand of salary, and you have the sanitary condition so poor that public bathroom at those campuses are harmful to our girls so those are conditions that if we are talking about a better life for our girls and daughters we have to see how best we can improve public facilities”, she stressed.

At the same time, she applauded government for it’s role with regards to the fight for a safe space for girls, but emphasized that more needs to be done.

Moreover, she stressed the need for government to aid local charity organizations that are also pushing the issues of women and girls. Ne-suah asserted that Government should also ensure creating a safe space for advocates and whistleblowers in order to speed up the justice system in terms of prosecution especially if perpetrators are proven guilty.

Ne-Suah Beyan Livingstone is a notable and award winning women and child right advocate. She was recently awarded as GBV Champion by the Liberia CSOs GBV Coalition.

She is the founder of an organization called Rescued Abandoned and Children in Hardship (REACH). Her commitment has been reflected in the lives of several children who have received smiles as a result of being victimized by rape and other forms of violence or abuse.

However, Tuesday, October 11, 2022, marked the 10th anniversary of the International Day of the Girl (IDG) which was celebrated under the global theme: “Our time is now—our rights, our future”

In these last 10 years, there has been increased attention on issues that matter to girls amongst governments, policymakers and the general public, and more opportunities for girls to have their voices heard on the global stage.

From national level, more young women are emerging as leaders and serving as dux of lower and higher learning institutions, to including the Law School and the Medical School. Howbeit, it appears that investments in girls’ rights remain limited and girls continue to confront a myriad of challenges to fulfilling their potential; made worse by concurrent crises of climate change, COVID-19 and humanitarian conflict.

In 1995 at the World Conference on Women in Beijing countries unanimously adopted the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action – the most progressive blueprint ever for advancing the rights of not only women but girls. The Beijing Declaration is the first to specifically call out girls’ rights.

On December 19, 2011, United Nations General Assembly adopted Resolution 66/170 to declare October 11 as the International Day of the Girl Child, to recognize girls’ rights and the unique challenges girls face around the world.

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