Liberia: Women Forum Frowns on Rising Wave of Violence against Women
MONROVIA – The Liberian Women Forum (LWF), a non-governmental organization which advocates for the rights of women in Liberia, has urged the Liberian government, especially the Ministry of Justice and the Ministry of Gender to fast-track rape and gender-based violence cases.
The LWF says their attention was drawn particularly the inhumane treatment meted against two women in Sinoe County on allegation of witchcraft.
“Such undeserved abuse of womanhood must not be left to impunity. While we acknowledge that the suspects have been arrested, charged and in pre-trial detention, it is also imperative that the trial is fast tracked and justice served without fear or favor. Unless this is done, women of Liberia would continue to suffer all forms of violence,” said the president of LWF, Kadi Coleman-Porte.
The Liberia Women Forum is also concerned about the growing wave of rape cases in all parts of the country. Mrs. Porte frowned on the practice, bemoaning that Liberia as a country has made so much progress in the fight against rape to easily slip on the progress that has been made.
She urged the Ministry of Gender, Children & Social Protection to adopt more proactive measures to avert some of such cases from occurring and also pursue rape cases until justice is rendered.
“In this modern age, we must rather be focusing our attention on how to get more women in high decision-making offices. Our focus must be on getting more women educated and empowering women entrepreneurs. Unfortunately, while we are still grappling with these, issues like rape which should have been a thing of the past keep coming up,” she lamented.
Mrs. Porte said unless the law is enforced to the letter to deter would-be rapists, rape would continue to be a menace in the Liberian society.
She said her organization would continue to engage all stakeholders including the Liberia National Police, the Ministry of Gender, county authorities, religious leaders, traditional leaders, among others, in a bid to promote collaboration in the fight against crimes meted on women. “The Liberia Women Forum believes unless all stakeholders work hand-in-hand, we will not go anywhere with the fight against sexual and gender-based violence. This should be the fight of every community in the country. Everyone must stand up against gender-based violence. That is why LWF is going to carryout this engagement so as to see how best each stakeholder can understand and play their role effectively,” she said.