The 11th International Day of the Girl Child is being observed by the Ministry of Gender, Children, and Social Protection in partnership with partners. The program, which lasted all day, included civic society groups, participants in the Liberian children’s political process, government representatives, members of the religious community, and students from Montserrado and the surrounding areas, particularly female students.
Serving as Keynote speaker and the Program Manager at the Young Political Leadership school of Africa, Alphia F. Kemokai said it was based on the Principle of Democracy that the United Nations General Assembly adopted resolution 66 of 170 on December 19, 2011, to declare October 11, as the International Day of the Girl Child. To recognize girls’ rights and the challenges they faced around the World. She said Liberia joined several other countries around the World to celebrate the 11th anniversary of the International Day of the Girl Child and called on all to reflect on the significant alleviation in the life of a girl Child in Liberia over the last nine years.
She pointed out that while the governance structure is making an effort to address issues related to girls’ rights and fostering safe spaces for girls, there is still much to be done to safeguard the rights of women and children and guarantee that every woman can have a better and more promising future.
She expressed regret that, prior to reaching the age of majority, girls face numerous obstacles that prevent them from developing and enjoying a more promising future than their male counterparts.
“In addition to professional settings, little girls are sexually molested much too frequently in schools, neighborhoods, and even in places of worship”.
Rape, according to her, is the second-most commonly reported serious crime in Liberia, and 80% of victims are under the age of 18, including infants under the age of five. The Young Political Leadership School of Africa’s Youthful Coordinator emphasized that child labor deprives girls of education and exposes them to serious risks of damage, among other important aspects of their wellbeing.
The Director General of the Liberia Broadcasting System, Estelle Liberty Kemoh, warned the Ministry of Gender Social and Children Protection to launch a nationwide media campaign on all media platforms to raise awareness of the dangers of SGBV and to repeatedly remind people of the negative effects of this demonic act committed against women. She emphasized the Liberia Broadcasting System’s commitment to leading the initiative and collaborating closely with the Ministry of Gender, Social Development, and Children Protection to secure the necessary money for the program’s implementation.
The head of LBS urged the government of Liberia to provide free sanitary pads in all public institutions and local communities in order to enable a girl child to protect her dignity. She also urged that girl children be methodically prepared to work alongside their male counterparts in an equal capacity, ensuring the responsibility of caring for family and society.
The subject of this year’s ceremony was “Protecting Our Rights, Brightens Our Future.” On Tuesday, October 11, 2022, the event took place in Bentol City’s Administrative Building.
Reported by: Joseph N. Kerkula