Girls for Change Conducts SGBV and SRHR Education Debate in Margibi County

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MONROVIA – Conforming to the believe that education has a central part to play in challenging the negative social norms that drive gender-based violence, the Girls for Change Organization (GFC), a non-governmental organization that provides support for adolescent girls and teen mothers, has conducted a debate aimed at increasing the knowledge of students and improving their attitudes relative to Sexual and Gender Based Violence (SGBV) and Sexual and Reproductive Health and Right (SRHR).

The Debate, held under the auspices of a project titled ‘Advocacy and Influencing for Social and Economic Right and Justice’ supported by Oxfam and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark, featured two schools, the Promise Land Junior High School and the Shello High School in Duazon, Margibi County.

In his overview of the exercise, Edward Joejoe, Girls for Change’s Project Manager, said the debate was meant primary to increase SGBV and SRHR awareness amongst students as well as begin a conversation on the need to have SGBV and SRHR captured into the educational curriculum of the Ministry of Education in Liberia. This, he said, will ensure that students are better enlightened about the subject. “And as you guys are growing up, you should know how to take care of your body parts. This is why we are here to gauge your knowledge on the subject and advocate that it be included into our curriculum so that children as young as 5 years can start to know how to take care of their bodies”, he said.

He furthered that the exercise intends to educate students on how to identify SGBV beginning with the schools. “We also want you to be educated on how to identify when someone touches you inappropriately,” he said.

During the debate, the Promise land High School through her representative Lovetee Karr argued that SGBV and SRHR education must be included into the educational curriculum because the offenses have an impact on the lives of children who are the future leaders of Liberia.  

For Benjamin Brown of Shello High School, the integration of SGBV education will inform people on the right processes leading to having sexual intercourse. He said SRHR education in various schools will encourage students to be and stay healthy throughout their studies and even after they have left school and help prevent unwanted pregnancies.  The debate ended with the Promise Land High School declared winner. 

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