UN women Liberia Trains Traditional Women on GBV Eradication

BY: Lazota Bility

Monrovia -March 13,2024: UN Women in Liberia has ended a two day regional consultation workshop With Traditional and faith Leaders on eradicating Gender Base Violence (GBV ) against women and Girls in Liberia. The Consultation workshop focused on presentation of the Regional Accountability Framework, interactive dialogue and highlighting methods that traditional and religious Leaders can used in preventing Violence Against Women and Girls alongside harmful practices in Liberia.

According to the Pew Forum, Research on Religion and Public Life, in 2009 an average of 86% roughly nine in 10 people) of sub-Saharan Africa declared that religion is a very important aspect of their lives. African belief systems, cultures, and values have been always deeply connected to tradition and religion.

The project is aimed at meaningfully partnering with powerful agents of social change to shift underlying structures of power within communities, end harmful practices, address religious misconceptions, and transform cultural norms surrounding violence against women and girls (VAWG). These consultations are expected to review previous commitments of traditional and faith leaders towards ending VAWG and contribute to a regional accountability framework that will help to monitor the progress of traditional and faith leaders in eliminating VAWG, harmful practices, and promoting sexual and reproductive health and rights in West Africa.

The regional consultation is being jointly held with UN Women Liberia and supported by Ford Foundation. The two-day consultation workshop is organized as part of a project known as Traditional and Cultural Leaders for Ending GBV by Advancing Advocacy, Policy and Social Norms Change in Nigeria and West Africa (LEAP).

Speaking at the training Monday, UN Women Country Representative Madam Comfort Lamptey informed participants that UN Women adds significant importance to dignity of life and fairness.

She stressed that these values are also effective within the United Nations Universal Human Rights Declaration which recognizes the dignity as well as equal rights for all as the foundation of freedom, peace and Justice in Liberia.

“Gender Based Violence in all forms Violate these core values and affect Women who occupied more then half of the population within our Countries. Faith and traditional Leaders play a crucial role in changing the narrative we have experience high level of changes in the process of banding FGM Liberia”.

Madam Lamptey Lauded UN Women Nigeria and Ford Foundation for the three years program that engages Traditional Leaders to participate in the process of ending Gender Base Violence through advanced advocacy, policies and Social norms change in West Africa.

She appreciated Traditional Leaders for their commitments in the process of curtailing SGBV and other harmful practices.

” We will like to thank Traditional Leaders and religious Leaders for being apart of this fight and their commitments made for ending SGBV and harmful practices, and I hope by the time the Regional Accountability Framework be launched at the inaugural Annual Gender Based Violence Prevention Summit to be Convened by UN Women in Nigeria In May 2024, Traditional and Religious Leaders will have advanced in implementing further actions to end SGBV and other harmful practices”.

Madam Lamptey at the same time Acknowledge Chief Zanzan Karwor for being the Champion in promoting women’s and girls’ Rights in Liberia while lauding the Government of Liberia for continued collaboration in the fight against FGM.

However, the Culture Ambassador Julie Endee applauded the UN System for leading the strive to end FGM in Liberia in a respectful manner and for providing alternative means for Traditional Women.
” By approaching the matter with regards which makes the Traditional people feel respected , UN women make us feel respected by allowing the National Council handle the matter without interfering . We must honor and uphold our Cultural Values ” She said

Meanwhile, the House of Representatives Chair on Gender and Bong county Representative Moima Briggs Mensah informed UN Women and Traditional Leaders that the House of Representatives is ready and waiting for their petition in passing the Ban on FGM and ending of Sexual Gender Based Violence in Liberia into Law.

“Our doors are open to UN Women and Traditional Leaders we are waiting for Solid documents in other to make this a Law. Enough of talking all of a time , there’s a need to take Actions and passed this into Law, we are ready to received and implement anytime ”

About 70 participants attended the Regional Consultation Workshop. The event was conducted on March 11-12, 2024 at Cape hotel in Mamba point Monrovia Liberia.

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