The Inquirer is a leading independent daily newspaper published in Liberia, based in Monrovia. It is privately owned with a "good reputation".

EU Amb. Wants Strategy For Women Transformed Into Action

“With this Strategy in place –the first Liberian National SGBV Prevention Strategy, also being the first in the West African region, I urge all Liberians to now transform this Strategy into concrete actions. Without implementation, brilliant strategies are meaningless,” stated the European Union Ambassador Cave.
“It is important to highlight that it should be implemented at all levels; national, county and community levels. In this chain it is therefore so important to involve community and traditional leaders alongside women and men, girls and boys to change harmful structural behaviors and attitudes,” she noted further.
She accentuated the need of leaving no one behind or leaving no one in the darkness because most often violent acts are committed in the dark with the perpetrators believing that their actions will be kept secret or even denied as there is no visibility.
With optimism, the EU Amb. said the Spotlight Initiative, an EU funded program worldwide, brings some light to this figurative darkness, focusing on the elimination of all forms of violence against women and girls, with particular focus on sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) and harmful practices.
The Spotlight Initiative translates the EU commitment –to make a real and lasting difference for women and girls all over the world– into action.
“The EU very much welcomes this National Comprehensive SGBV Prevention Strategy pinpointing the specific root causes of gender-inequitable norms and gender-based violence. Although being aware of the high prevalence of SGBV in Liberia, I was astonished by the frankness and the depth of social inequalities expressed by many respondents in the data collection,” Madam cave noted.
Even though she stressed that everyone, including the citizens and the various international bodies present in Liberia have the responsibilities to protect vulnerable women and girls and prevent violence against them but the greatest responsibility clearly lies with the Government because it is charged with the power to enact and enforce laws, and provide the social and economic opportunities to promote attitudinal changes.
Personally, she laid the tedious task on the shoulders of President Weah the ‘Feminist in Chief’, Vice-President Howard-Taylor and First Lady Clar Weah to continue to steer the necessary attention of the whole Government to the FGM matters as well as prevention of SGBV, to indeed make Liberia a better and safer place for women and girls.
She concluded by quoting Liberia’s women’s rights advocate and Nobel Peace Prize winner, Leymah Gbowee who said: “If women were part of decision-making in most societies, there would be less exclusive policies and laws that are blind to abuses women endure. To recognize and honor women, the other half of humanity, is to achieve universal wholeness and balance.”
“Today we are witnessing a giant step in the fight against SGBV, namely the validation of the Comprehensive SGBV Prevention Strategy for Liberia (an EU, UN Liberia Spotlight Initiative), and the Justice Ministry is fully committed to the implementation of the Prevention Strategy contained in the document,” the Justice Minister Cllr. Frank Musa Dean stated.
“The fight against SGBV is fully in progress therefore we must not relent and we will not relent until our women and girls feel totally safe wherever they are throughout the length and breadth of the Republic,” he added.
He also pointed out that Liberia and her development partners have come a long way in the fight against SGBV since the end of the civil crisis collaboratively establishing the “Criminal Court E, exclusively for trying rape cases, the Women and Children Section at the Liberia National Police, the SGBV Section at the Ministry of Justice and the Child Justice Section at the Ministry of Justice.
Minister Dean mentioned further that Liberia has moved from raising consciences to making every form of violence against women and children acts punishable under the Penal Code of the country.
He added that during the August 2019 term of court about 138 SGBV cases were reported in Montserrado alone in which 41 indictments were drawn, 54 pending indictment and 28 cases were tried and 28 cases were won.

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