Full Statement presented to the Legislature on Thursday March 2, 2023)
“It saddens our hearts that we are on the mournful journey to seek justice for all!
We assemble here to inform you the members of the National Legislature that we the women of Liberia are on the second day expedition of our sit-in action to seek justice for little Charloe Musu who was gruesomely murdered over a week ago in Brewerville, Montserrado County, and to sound a clarion call to end all forms of violence and abuse in Liberia. On yesterday, March 1, 2023, Front Page Africa on line newspaper also reported that a 21-year-old was, “beaten and murdered on orders of a chief, in Gbarnga Bong County over allegations of disrespect”. Indeed, it is a parent’s worst nightmare to lose a child so brutally.
As you are aware, the constitution of Liberia, the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights and the Universal Declaration on Human Rights give all citizens the right to protection. It is in this vein that we ask why the Former Chief Justice, Cllr. Gloria Musu Scott wasn’t given protection after two attempts on her life at residence in Brewerville?
We, the women of Liberia and human rights activists across Liberia, the Association of Female Lawyers, Liberian Feminist Forum, and the Women NGO Secretariat of Liberia have assembled here to strongly condemn the attack and all acts of violence that are growing at an alarming rate.
The women of Liberia have come to this branch of government endowed with so much power. We have come with a position statement to end all forms of violence now. We wonder if you are familiar with the horror of insecurity throughout the length and breadth of Liberia? Are you aware of the internal trafficking of children from your various counties that are put in the streets to earn income for families, abused, and deprived of their right to education? The escalating rate of violence has prompted the women of Liberia to take a definite action and to demand Justice from our Representatives and Senators consistent with the laws of Liberia and international legal instrument.
The Legislature was strategically identified by the women of Liberia, because every representative and senator in this Branch of Government is accountable to the electorates, the people who believed in you and elected you. We elected you because we believed that you will advance legislation to prevent and protect women and children from violence and abuse and seek their welfare, and thus guarantee peace and security. The Senate has the sole powers to confirm the President’s nominee in the Government. Meaning, you have the power to override the Presidents’ nomination in the best interest of the country, to ensure that the nominee has the capability to provide economic advancement for women and children, and the nominee that will ensure order, peace and security.
Any effort to provide safety to our nation’s must began with you. Chapter V Article 34 (b) (c) of the Constitution of Liberia states that The Legislature shall have the power: “to provide for the security of the Republic; to provide for the common defense, to declare war and authorize the Executive to conclude peace”; With such significant powers, we did not have to be here today to compel you to perform your duties. Members of the Legislature in recent times have spent more time on discussing other issues not of concern, more time on their personal $30,000.00 benefit, more on contracts negotiations than on legislative work. The inability to concentrate on the two main duties of making laws and scrutinizing the work of the Government is gravely affecting the country. Today we have a fragile state. Your work affects the daily lives of the citizens across Liberia. You are the voice of the people. Spend more of your deliberations on issues that affect and impact the best interest of your people.
You are preparing to run again; you must first secure the peace. You must act now!!!
Finally, we are, once again, calling on the Government of Liberia and relevant stakeholders to recognize that violence against women is a violation of the fundamental human rights of women and girls in Liberia. It remains, our clarion call, that the Liberian Government use its mandated power to invest and enforce a non-negotiable position on women rights and to respect, protect and uphold women’s human rights in Liberia. If the goals of equality, development, peace and justice must be achieved, the war on women and girls, must end!
Justice for Chaloe Musu, Justice for all!!!
Together, let us stop all forms of violence!!!”