Zwedru, Grand Gedeh – Youth Coalition for Education in Liberia (YOCEL) organized a one-day workshop under the Funding Leadership Opportunity for Women Project – FLOW to establish the Grand Gedeh County Women Platform to respond to violence against women and support processes to have increased women participation in the county political and democratic process.
The FLOW project is funded by the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs to promote a life free from violence and as active citizens for women, adolescents and girls through empowering women as change agents, fostering greater awareness of gender equality and women’s rights, while enhancing the prevention and response to violence against women by public institutions and regional and international authorities seeking to address unequal gendered power relations through a transformative approach.
YOCEL is implementing activities of outcome 1 of the project in Grand Gedeh County under the OXFAM IBIS consortium.
The workshop was held at the Youth Center in Zwedru City, Grand Gedeh County with a cross section of CBOs and stakeholders held under the theme “Platform to Response to Violence Against Women, Girls and the Promotion of women leadership in Grand Gedeh County.
Participants at the Workshop raised several issues on how rural women can be factored in decision making processes, Leadership and amplify their voices. After series of consultation the women reached a resolution to build a strong social mobilization team that will advocate against SGBV and other pertinent issues that exist in the communities and the County.
The workshop brought together 16 women activists including female politicians and other women leaders.
The lead facilitator, Bishop Theo Barbi Roberts, Director of THREM Inc. a faith based NGO, stressed on women to become watchdogs for violence against women and girls and urged them to be the change they want to be and advocate for women participation in Leadership.
Mr. Roberts indicated that the abuse of women and girl poses a serious threat to the nation and hampers the growth of its citizens.
He admonished the women and girls that no matter how frustrated Liberians are in the leadership and governance system, the only way to change it is to wake-up, shake-up and stand-up to participate in the 2017 elections.
Speaking earlier, the Regional Coordinator of YOCEL, Ben T.C. Brooks encouraged the women to work together and champion the cause of speaking out as well as challenged the women to take up political leadership in their respective communities and county.
At the close of the workshop, the women organized themselves into a consortium, and elected a leadership to steer their affairs. The leadership includes the following persons: Madam Irene Sirleaf Jayee – Chairlady; Madam Bessey Brooks – Co–Chairlady; Miss Patience Jah – Secretary; Madam Esther T. Wright – Treasure; and Madam Alice Kowleh – Chaplain.