Liberia: IREDD ‘Informs’ Rural Women on Access to Justice


Cestor, Rivercess – The Institute for Research and Democratic Development (IREDD) said promoting access to justice for women in Liberia would help curtail violence against them and others unfair treatments they are faced with.

Report by Willie N. Tokpah, [email protected]

At the end of a three-day access to justice training for rural women in Rivercess County over the weekend, IREDD Rule of Law Project Manager Bob Johnson noted that educating women would set a basis for fair and unbiased administration, void of personal interests or attachment.

The training focused on principle of justice under the rule of law, some barriers that hinder women’s rights and access to justice in Liberia, women basic rights, transparency and accountability in accessing justice and security institutions as well as inheritance right with respect to marriage and custody of child/children among others. 

“Men are taking too much advantage of women, this must stop. Everybody is equal under the law. This is why, we are providing these legal guardians and teaching you about rights and way to access justice,” Mr. Johnson said.

According to him, for too long most rural women have been with disadvantage due to lack of knowledge on their rights and limitation. And as such, providing them legal knowledge on their rights is important.

He said women can access justice through court proceeding, but noted that justice itself must be based on facts or the truth.

While he encouraged them to use the rule of law as a yardstick to pursue justice, Mr. Johnson also cautioned the women that proceedings and deposition of justice should not be based on perception.

“Best practice requires the fact that equal access to justice is a fundamental right. Universally, many countries have enshrined this right in their country’s constitution across the globe,” Johnson stated.

However, Johnson further stated that ethnic background, culture and or tradition, age, social status, place of residence, disability legal and financial incapacitation remain factors that continue to hinder women’s rights and access to justice in Liberia.

These challenges, according to him, continue to pose challenges for women at all levels, which has eluded the principle of equal justice for all. 

Yet, he maintained that the principles of equal right provide a basis for all human to be equal before the law.

Johnson lamented that rural women are ‘vulnerably challenged’ in most instances; noting that they are denied right to information, property, equal protection, due process, fair and impartial trial in court as well as right to custody of child.

“In effect, women structure or groupings should at all-time follow the required channels to champion and promote women’s rights and equality before the law and the court,” Johnson averred.

“This entails that women should consolidate and complement each other efforts at all levels of the society. This is needed to quicken outcome in pursue of equal justice.”

At the same time, he encouraged women to create mechanism to monitor justice and ensure that security institution performance adhere to women’s basic rights and access to justice.

Meanwhile, Rivercess County rural women Chairperson Teta Lloyd lauded IREDD for the training but informed them that the three-day training is not enough to provide informed decision for women across the county.

Madam Lloyd noted that women in Rivercess are seriously faced with injustice from their male counterparts due to lack of information and as such, the training should be taken to all parts of the county.

The training was organized by IREDD in collaboration with United Nations Women.