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

Liberia Ranks 154 For Gender Inequality -Swedish Emb, UN Women Launch “The Challenge Of Unlearning

The Global Gender Inequality Index of 2017 has ranked Liberia154 out of 189 countries in which the study was conducted.

The Gender Inequality Index shows the loss in potential of human development due to disparity between females and males in two dimensions, Empowerment and economic status, and reflects a country’s position relative to normative ideals for the key dimensions of women’s health.

“This disparity calls for immediate strategic interventions,” Said UN Women Country Director, Marie Goreth Nazigama as she spoke yesterday at the Bella Casa Hotel during the launch of “The Challenge of Unlearning: A Study of Gender Norms and Masculinities in Liberia.”

The UN Women boss pointed out that while most gender norms are harmful to women and beneficial to men; it is also true that some existing gender norms encourage men to act in ways that jeopardize their own health and well-being.

“Shifting the dominant negative gender norms that still view men as leaders with women as subservient, and promoting gender equality requires an intervention that focuses on men,” she added.

She noted that without engaging men, any intervention at best will only address symptoms and will not be transformative, but when men are involved it will create the space and process to address the cause of negative gender norms and inequalities.

Confidently she said not all men support violence, so men should be seen as partners and advocates in the quest to end violence against women and girls.

“We acknowledged that prioritizing prevention in addressing gender-based violence and harmful social norms through inclusive participation, awareness of their negative impacts, and through community-driven solutions at the national, county, community, household level is key in ending gender based violence at all levels,” she explained.

 She concluded by assuring the UN commitment to collaborate with the government and other partners in eradicating toxic masculinity.

At the same time, Internal Affairs Minister, Varney Sirleaf denounced the high level of violence against women in the country, noting that women’s rights should be protected.

He too pledged his Ministry’s support in the fight against violence not just against women but in every sector of the society including electoral violence, by working with religious and traditional leaders and all partners in the country.

Also speaking was the Head of Development Cooperation, Embassy of Sweden, Elisabeth Harleman who said the main reason for conducting the study is that in Liberia, as in other countries, gender inequality is a systemic problem affecting women and girls at all levels with restricted access to economic and social  services.

“To overcome the struggle women in Liberia are going through we all need to come together, have joint analysis, not be afraid to change the way we are and have been working and we all must raise our voices,” she said.

 “It is when peers and families around us start publicly denouncing SGBV that changes can be seen as stated in the study,” she stated further.

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