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

Swedish Amb. Wants SGBV Perpetrators Punished

The Ambassador of Sweden to Liberia, Ingrid Wettersqvist has called on the government and people of Liberia for the pursuant and vigorous punishment of perpetrators of Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG).

The Swedish envoy noted that the high level of impunity enjoyed by people who commit violence against women is creating an uphill task in the fight against VAWG as more cases prop up each year.

She insinuated that if a speedy and strong punishment is meted out to wrongdoers it will create fear in would-be perpetrators which in turn will reduce the culprits and the number of violence committed against women and girls.

The Swedish Diplomat also stressed the need for improving and strengthening the Judicial or legal system to provide a better platform for the fight to eradicate all forms of violence against women. 

Speaking recently in Monrovia at the commemoration of Orange Day, Madam Wettersqvist concluded by highlighting the significance of promoting 50-50 gender parity in politics to end gender inequality and give women more voices in decision making.

Echoing the words of the Swedish Amb; the Deputy Gender Minister, Alice Johnson-Howard stressed that if the level of impunity continues then the fight against VAWG will yield little or no positive results.

According to a Gender Ministry report on VAWG earlier read by the Moderator; from January to July of this year there were over 1,500 cases of VAWG committed in the country, of which over 1,000 are rape cases, with over 170 sexual assaults, while 240 are demonic cases.

Minister Johnson-Howard said the report only constituted reported cases and not the numerous unreported cases that were buried under the carpet or compromised with unjustifiable reasons.  

Speaking of the alarming reported and unreported cases of VAWG, she said, “They are unspeakable and should not be compromised in any sector of the society but rather condemned.”

At the same time, the Deputy Country Representative of UN Women, Sangeeta Thapa called for united efforts in the fight against violence committed against women in the country.

She labeled all forms of violence against women including rape and sexual harassment as serious human rights violations that should not be tolerated in the society but denounced in the strongest terms and look forward for a society where every woman will live with dignity.

The UN Secretary-General’s UNiTE to End Violence against Women campaign, managed by UN Women, is commemorated on the 25th day of every month as “Orange Day” – a day to take action to raise awareness and prevent violence against women and girls.

It was launched in 2009 as a means of mobilizing civil society, activists, governments and the UN system in order to amplify the impact of the UN Secretary-General’s campaign, UNiTE to End Violence against Women.

“Not until the half of our population represented by women and girls can live free from fear, violence and everyday insecurity, can we truly say we live in a fair and equal world.” — UN Secretary-General António Guterres said.

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