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Tribal Governors Support Existing Laws To End Gender Violence

The EU/UN Spotlight Initiative has embarked on creating public awareness on existing laws and gender rights’ policies including access to legal redress by survivors in Liberia.
The awareness is being implemented in the five spotlight counties with cross-session of the state actors comprised of traditional leaders, students, marginalized groups, women and men in Lofa, Nimba, Grand Gedeh, Grand Cape and Montserrado respectively.
The public awareness on laws and policies on Sexual Gender Based Violence, Harmful Practices (HP) inclusive of FGM, Early Child Marriage; Sexual Representative Health and Rights (SRHR) as well as accessing legal redress by the survivor’s is being implemented by the HeForShe Crusaders Liberia (HEFOSEL) with support from UN Women under the EU/UN Spotlight Initiative through West African Peace Building Network (WANEP/ WINEP).
Speaking recently at an awareness dialogue with 41 national tribal governors of Liberia and other traditional leaders in Monrovia, the founder and National Coordinator of the HeForShe Crusaders Liberia, Tamba F. J. Johnson, appreciated the traditional leaders for their willingness to always accept and get involved with issues of national concerns.
He recalled that in 2020, the traditional leaders pledged their support toward the fight against violence in Liberia including awareness on Covide-19. “Today, we are where we are. With our elders taking the lead, we can be assured that SGBV, HPs, SRHR and access to legal redress can equally be handled” he indicated.
According to the human right advocate, “Laws and policies are meant to protect and provide real rights, leaving no one behind including those with disability, people with different sexual orientation, women, girls, boys and men.”
He further mentioned that the 1986 Constitution of Liberia, declared Liberia a Secular State that all have rights to be given equal opportunities, equal protection and equal access to seek legal answers to their dissatisfaction.
Mr. Johnson further mentioned that laws like the Inheritance Law, Rape Law, Domestic Violence Law, Convention on Elimination of all forms of violence against women (CEDAW), Mapotu Protocol and all call for ending violence against women, girls and marginalized groups and called for opportunities to be given to all, irrespective of his or her gender and sexual identity.
“Violence against women, girls and marginalized groups is wrong; Liberia must respect and protect all, because it is a signatory to the Declaration of Human Rights, and is supposed to report to the International Convention on Civil and Political Right during Universal Periodic Review (UPR), the release stated.
The human rights advocate concluded by appreciating EU/UN for the support and urged traditional leaders to keep the torch burning in the communities by educating their kinsmen, ensuring that justice is dispensed without fear and compromise.
The president of the National Tribal Governors of Liberia, Musu K. Thompson, thanked the EU/ UN Spotlight for the level of support given to Liberia as well as the HeForShe Crusaders in Liberia for always reaching out to the owners of the land which shows respect and further develop trust to work together.
“We, the traditional leaders of Liberia, will go out but we are asking HeForShe Crusaders in Liberia to talk to EU/ UN support to our engagement and if this is done, we will provide the needed answers to SGBV, HPs and SRHR. As for access to legal redress, we will ensure that courts and families don’t compromise issues, because our ears and eyes will be opened and when we hear noise, we will use traditional intervention to solve issues.”

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