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FeJAL Frowns On Violence Against Women, Girls

The Female Journalists Association of Liberia (FeJAL) says it is troubled by the increasing waves of Sexual and Gender-Based Violence and other forms of Harmful Practices across Liberia.
Since the coronavirus pandemic hit Liberia, the Ministry of Gender and Children Social Protection said there are 963 recorded cases of which 667 are on rape and 43 are cases of gang rape; the Ministry of Justice also confirmed over 600 reported cases of Domestic Violence including early child and forceful marriages coupled with none-persistent child support.
FeJAL said the government is watching supinely and doing nothing to bring perpetrators to book as well as providing proper and sufficient security for survivors, when inhumane acts of sexual violence are meted against females on a daily basis in the country.
The Association recalls that recently, it was reported that a 24-year old woman in Guluma Village in Zorzor District, Lofa County was tortured by her significant other, a situation that left the survivor unconscious after spending the entire day in foot-cuffed detention on grounds that she and her spouse had a fight in the middle of the town which according to the report is a gross violation of the town’s rules.
According to FeJAL, the woman has since then been unable to walk due to the cuffs placed on her legs while the spouse was left un-touched because the rules do not apply to men.
“Another instant case of torture involved a young woman who was being flogged in the Lofa Bridge Community in Grand Cape Mount County on grounds that she had refused to be part of their traditional ceremony, an act they see as total disrespect and disobedience to the tradition therefore the zoes and elders ordered her flogging,” The Association noted.
Also other documented violations are the gang rape of a 12-year old girl in Charlesville in Margibi County, the gang rape of a 19-year old girl in the Fendell Community in Montserrado County, an 11-year old girl raped by a 51-year old man in River Gee County as well as an 8-year old girl who was also raped in Grand Cape Mount County, amongst others, the group stated.
The Association wondered why the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection should take pride in documenting these incidents without taking tangible actions as if it is an achievement of this government.
The Association said it is sad that duty bearers and policy makers are bent on politicizing the fights against Gender Based Violence and using it as a political tool to gain votes from women groupings and their supporters during electoral seasons and the December 8 Senatorial Bi-Elections is of no exception.
Meanwhile, FeJAL reminds the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection and other stakeholders that the criminal courts have opened for its August Term and urged the government and stakeholders to follow closely to ensure that many of those numbers of reported cases are placed on the docket as well as follow up on how many will reach its logical conclusion, so as to report achievements on how government is handling the rising menace instead of just leaving it at the documentation stages.

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