Monrovia – In a bid to advance women’s human rights by ensuring gender is mainstreamed into Liberia’s ongoing security sector reform, medica Liberia (mL) in partnership with the government of Liberia with support from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) completed a two-day Gender Mainstreaming Refresher Workshop for Gender Focal Points and Advisors of various Gender Units within national security institutions.
Report by Gerald C. Koinyeneh, [email protected]
The training was organized under a project titled “Strengthening Capacity for Gender Responsive Security Institutions”.
The medica Liberia/UNDP project is aimed at enhancing the capacity of gender structures within National Security Institutions to ensure that duty bearers are responsive to the differential security needs of women and girls in conformity with National and International Policy and Legal Frameworks including the Liberia National Action Plan on Women Peace and Security.
The project also seeks to advance Women’s Human Rights and engender the ongoing security sector reform process with specific focus on capacity building.
Speaking at the workshop, which was held in Monrovia from August 28 – 29, the Project Manager, Cllr. Abla Gadegbeku William urged Gender Focal Points to take seriously their role to advocate for Gender Responsive Security Institutions in the country.
She said, more women must be included in the security sector at all levels so as to enable women to contribute to the growth and development of the sector and the country at large.
According to her, security issues are changing both nationally and internationally and at such strengthening capacity for Gender Responsive Security Institutions in Liberia is key to the country’s security growth.
For their part, participants of the two-day training thanked medica-Liberia and UNDP for the training and planned to incorporate what they have learned into their work.
The participants highlighted the importance of the training as it increased their understanding of why gender is crucial as per security sector reform and understanding their roles in contributing to such reform.
They also called on the heads of their institutions to provide all necessary support needed by gender units to enable them effectively contribute to the reforms of the security sector.
Meanwhile, participating institution includes the Ministry of Justice, Liberia National Police, Liberia National Fire Service, Liberia Immigration Service, Liberia Drugs Enforcement Agency, Bureau of Correction and Rehabilitation, Ministry of Defense, Armed Forces of Liberia, The Liberia National Commission on Small Arms and the Ministry of Gender Children Social Protection.
medica Liberia (mL) is a women’s rights organization operating in five counties in Liberia. mL offers support to women and girls who have been affected by Sexual Gender Based Violence and has been implementing response and prevention services for survivors of violence since 2006.