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Lip-Service About Gender Based Violence Must Stop!

Lip-Service About Gender Based Violence Must Stop!

JUST CONDEMNING GENDER based violence is not enough! Everyday perpetrators of these gruesome acts against women and girls go free, and their victims are not given fair share of justice.

“Action Speaks Louder than Words”

KORPO JAIMEH’S ORDEAL is just one of many. She’s now racing against time to get medical care to safe her only eye left, while her ‘MONSTER’ boyfriend is in hiding. He might even remain at large, thanks to a very poor justice system.

THE INCIDENT OCCURRED in May 2013 but Korpo has not had the opportunity to receive any medical attention since then. She’s just one of many women that are violated on a regular basis in Liberia – a country headed by Africa’s first female President.

FOR US, IT IS TIME that the government takes serious action against these heartless, psychopathic, and villainous men. Liberia needs laws – strong laws - to curb these horrible acts. We believe that campaigning and holding conferences and meetings have not made significant impact.

STATISTICS SHOWED THAT the number of gender based violence continues to heighten in Liberia. “In the first seven months of 2011, 1,325 cases of gender-based violence were reported to the Ministry of Gender and Development; rape-related incidents represented 68% of all reported cases. In the past four years, an average 55% of survivors who reported rape were less than 15 years old. Meanwhile, many cases continue to go unreported,” reported the World Health Organization in 2012.

WE SAY ACTION is better than words! The Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection must wake up and smell the coffee.

PRESIDENT ELLEN JOHNSON SIRLEAF has again by Proclamation declared Friday, November 25, through December 10, 2016, the 16 Days of Activism against Gender Violence to be observed throughout the country as Working Holidays.

WE ARE VERY PESSIMISTIC that these campaigns will not yield the expected results to prevent a situation like Korpo’s. How many men in rural Liberia or slum communities get to understand and grasp the message? If these messages were triggering down, we would have experienced some reduction in these crimes of GBV.

WE ARE NOT against activism and campaigns. We believe these activities set the platform and agenda for a national discussion about these vices. But we want better actions that will deliver better results - the ones that will serve as deterrent for these maniacs. We need laws that will protect wives from their violent husbands, girlfriends from their abusive boyfriends, and girls from rapist and pedophiles.

THE DOMESTIC VIOLENCE BILL was submitted to the Legislature in September 2015, and the bill, among other things, sought to ban Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) and impose some punishment for domestic violence. However, the bill is languishing within the Capitol.

IT IS TIME THAT all parties take genuine action. Lawmaker dragging their feet to pass the bill is very worrying and frustrating. For these lawmakers to ignore the dilemma of GBV epitomizes their level of insensitivity to curbing life threatening problems affecting their constituents.

AND FOR THE Gender Ministry, it needs to start thinking out-of-the-box instead of just releasing statements of condemnation and organizing campaigns. This is what we term as a complete lip-service. 

ENACTING TOUGHER LAWS and at the same time ensuring that the police do their job void of hindrances and interferences is vital to dealing with the problem – we mean, police officers that are dedicated to solving this national disaster, not the ‘crocks’ that will manipulate the investigation after taking bribes.

PRESIDENT SIRLEAF HERALDS the values of gender empowerment and her government has also been given massive international support to stop GBV.

BUT WE BELIEVE there’s lackluster performance on the part of the entire government because it lacks significant political will in strengthening the laws that can minimize, if not end GBV.

STOP THE LIP SERVICE and enact strong laws to deal with this quandary that is leaving our mothers, daughters and sisters in horror.

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