Against numerous reports of Sexual Gender-Based Violence (SGBV) meted against the women and girls of Liberia, the Federation of Borough Women took the street of New Kru Town in District #16 Montserrado County with a peaceful march to demonstrate their concern on the matter which they said is against their progress and rights.
The women carried placards bearing the inscriptions: Stop the killing of girls & women; Killers must be jailed for a lifetime; Stop violence against women; I am God’s precious daughter I have the right to live peacefully amongst others.
At a program organized Thursday, April 28, 2022, at the administrative hall of the Borough of New Kru Town, by the Angie Brooks International Center (ABIC) in partnership with ZOA- Liberia with support from the United Nations Peacebuilding Fund, the women said enough is enough to all the violence perpetrated against women, girls and children by sounding out loudly the brutal acts and demand immediate step to curb the situation.
During the indoor program, the Guest Speaker, Madam Celine Gboboh said, ” We hear of men beating on women, as the result of intimacy, women do not stay there to allow a man to mistreat you and you keep silent. Do not compromise rape, if you do that you comprise the future of the next generation.
“Sometimes we beat children who are not our biological children, we burn parts of their body, it is wrong. Treat them as your own, they are humans and have rights. 30% of the women around the world are victims of violence. Violence against women is against their rights. Women let us not accept violence”, stressing that rape is a global crime that should not be allowed in society.
She continued, “Let us be conscious of our children’s movement. Tell them about the good and the bad. Violence against women is not good, don’t allow your spouse or husband to beat on you and you keep silent, it is not good, report it, Madam Gboboh added.
Madam Celine Gboboh was followed by Mrs. Georgia C. Baryor, President of the Federation of the Borough Women (FOBW) of New Kru Town, in a position statement against violence against women, girls and children, she stated that women of FOBW have come out in hundreds to join other advocacy organizations in Liberia to signal out to the government and the international community that they the women say enough is enough to all the violence perpetrated against women, girls and children by sounding out loudly the brutal acts:
She further said that children are used as breadwinners for their families. Madam Baryor explained that children, girls, and women are trafficked out of the country while domestic violence against women and children has become the order of the day, saying rapists are left free to move about without serious punishment.
She added that the murdering of women in cold blood and denying them equal job opportunities to their male counterparts is a serious challenge.
However, the President of the FOBW on behalf of the grassroots recommended that Liberia should be made a safe and violence-free country for women, girls, and children by giving maximum punishment against perpetrators of SGBV and appealed to the national government to employ more women in the public sector.
She also recommended that the government reduce the fees for women aspirants/candidates who would like to contest for the representative and senate positions and added that providing tuition-free for women who want to pursue higher education is also paramount.
The FOBW President maintained “That rapists and murderers be given life imprisonment while traffickers brought to justice.” She added that more women should be sent out of the country on scholarship to pursue higher learning in all disciplines.
Odell Harmon, a female police officer who attended the program remarked that “I am hurt right now because it is not easy. I believe that we as mothers are not having good conversations with our children. Women talk to your children, educate them, and tell them to report issues of SGBV. Mothers, please be security for your children. Stop sending your children to buy provisions at night, you make them venerable”, she told the gathering.
Remaking at the program, the Establishment Coordinator of the influential Liberian-based Angie Brooks International Centre (ABIC) for Women’s Empowerment, Leadership Development, International Peace and Security, Counsellor Dr. Yvette Chesson-Wureh encouraged the women not to wait for people to make the decision for them but rather make the decision for themselves.
“Don’t let men beat you and you stay there and think it is okay, no, never.” She added, saying “You can stand on your own. It is not good to think that you are worthless. We must have conversations with our daughters and sons, let us listen to our children.”
Speaking further Cllr Chesson-Wureh Urged the women to seek education, saying it doesn’t matter your age you can still learn. Today I am a member of the US Supreme Court Bar. When I got to the US I didn’t have the immediate opportunity to go to school but I persevered and today I got the benefits, she narrated.
Going further, she said if she had her own will she would castrate rapists. Adding that, SGBV is not only against poor families but worthy families as well. “Report rape to save our children. Let’s take this into our hands. Cooperate with the police, they can not do this on their own. Let’s keep the issue on a front burner, women deserve justice.”
The program was attended by several grassroots women of District #16 including the six nominating District of the Borough of New Kru Town.
Reported by: Stephen G. Fellajuah