MONROVIA, LIBERIA – The Ministry of Gender, Women, and Children Social Protection is calling for more Government- private sector partnerships to help curb the victimization of women and girls in the country.
A Bentol-based Social Worker, Marie Coker, lauded Platform for Dialogue and Peace (P4DP) and the United Nations partners for buttressing the government’s efforts in the awareness of rule of law, violence, rape, and other abuses against women and girls.
Madam Coker proxy for Montserrado County – Gender Coordinator, Benedict Nyae also assured the participants that serious consideration would be given to the recommendations from the study. She spoke Saturday, December 5, 2020, at a closing of a four-day ‘Mobile4Women’ research findings’ held at Fiamah, and King Gray Township, in Paynesville.
Similar joint validation was also held earlier for several communities in Monrovia, including Slipway, West Point, Clara Town, New Kru, Brewerville, Logan Town, Red Light and, soul Clinic.
The ‘Mobile for Women’ project is funded with a grant from Women Peace and Humanitarian Fund & Spotlight Initiative, through UN Women. The Audio-visual research is being carried out in ten districts in Montserrado and several urban and rural communities in Grand Bassa Counties.
P4DP Gender Officer, Deimah McCrownsey, acknowledged the supportive role of the Gender Ministry and informed participants and beneficiary organizations that phase two of the project will continue in the same participatory manner. The initial process took place in ten urban and rural communities, in Grand Bassa County.
Mobile4Women project is expected to sensitize marginalized women, and girls about their fundamental human rights and train organizations to understand the statutory justice system.
Mrs. McCrownsey said the project is identifying and training high-profile leader of the sande society who has played an innovative role in proposing and implementing novel initiatives, which seek to secure and advance the cause of women’s rights and justice.
Unlike most rule of law and women’s rights reform initiatives currently taking place in Liberia, Mobile4women is working with traditional female actors and organizations that are not only challenging negative social and cultural norms that are contributing to GBV against women and girls but at the same time creating a platform through which ‘change agents’ can export their novels initiatives to other parts of the country to induce “social change”.
Women, girls, and men participants, who spoke to ELBC, expressed gratitude to P4DP and partners for helping to make their concerns and voices to be heard.
Grace Toe a participant from West Point, Central Monrovia, says “the involvement of girls’ children in the use and abuse of drugs and harmful substances is rampant in my community and surrounding communities without a solution by authorities to stop it, this is causing the major problem we cannot handle as parents”.
While a Slipway community’s participant spoke about the increase in rape among babies, girls, and women. According to Evelyn Gika of the Slipway Women League, “I want your organization to come and help us establish what is causing men to continue to rape our women and girls. Is it the girls’ dress code or because the law is not working or what is enticing men to do so? I want P4DP to help us stop this rapid increase in rape in my community”.
The Acting Chairperson of Whyesayeh- Women, in Sinkor, Fiamah Monrovia, Mrs. Helen G. Eastman said: “My expectation after attending the validation is to see the improvement of situation Liberian women and girls are faced with. I hope also that P4DP and partners take our recommendations – or what we are telling them and what they are telling us so that girls and women lives improve, and they will live a happy life in society”.
Another participant, the Women Wing Chair for the King Gray Community in Paynesville, Patricia Fair said “from the recommendations that we have made today, I hope they will help stop this wickedness”.
“Since organization like P4DP and others are coming in small-small, we look forward to more of such engagements to make the abuses we go through, become a thing of the past”, said Madam Fair.
A male participant and Chairman for Central Monrovia’s ‘Male Action Group Against SGBV’, Josiah B. Toe said: “People see us from West Point to be violent people but for 14 years, I have not beaten on my wife because I was trained with others to respect and work with women.
Mr. Toe also expressed gratitude to P4DP for the research and assured the organization of his group’s continuous engagement in awareness creation against rape, violence, and persistent nonsupport by fathers for their children.