Liberia: Partnership For Sustainable Development Petitions Government to End Rape, Sexual Based Violence

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The group was heard chanting slogans: real man don’t rape, policeman don’t rape, government official don’t rape, among others.

MONROVIA – A civil organization, the  Partnership for Sustainable Development (PaSD) on Tuesday, September 8, staged a peaceful protest in Congo Town to petition the Weah-led administration to end rape, early child marriage, Female Genital Mutilation, and other abuses. 

The petition was delivered to the government through the Ministry of Gender and the National Civil Society Council of Liberia.

The protest was held in front of the Ministerial Complex in Congo Town.

The group protest comes at the time when President Weah had gone to kick start a two day conference on sexual and gender based violence with national stakeholders and development partners  at the  Ministerial Complex in Congo Town to develop an action plan to end rape, sexual based violence and other forms of abuse in the country.

The group was heard chanting slogans: real man don’t rape, policeman don’t rape, government official don’t rape, among others.

After about thirty minutes of protest, a representative from the National Civil Society Council of Liberia, and a representative from the Ministry of Gender finally came to receive their (PaSD) petition.

Reading the petition on behalf of the group (PaSD), Ambassador Linda Lloyd recommends that the Ministry of Gender should ensure that civic education on SGBV, Sexual Exploitation and Abuse, and gender equality form part of the action plan.

Ambassador Lloyd also recommends that the action plan should also consider the mass production and dissemination of the domestic violence act and other legal policies that support ending violence against women and girls.

She also called on the Legislature to increase the 2020/2021 national budget of the Ministry of Gender to create a clear and disaggregated budget lines for gender equality,women empowerment, and ending violence against women and girls.

She also added that the government should create a road map to ensure the reduction or end of maternal and newborn morbidity, and mortality in the country.

Ambassador Lloyd also recommend that the Ministry of Justice should strengthen coordination amongst security apparatus (LNP, LIS, DEA, NSA, EPS) to effectively combat the sale of illicit drugs, and under age intake, to save young people from prostitution, drugs abuse and drugs trafficking.

Receiving the petition, the Chairperson of the National Civil Society Council of Liberia, Mrs. Loretta Pope-Kai promised that the group recommendations will be considered during  the drafting or development of the action plan to end rape and sexual based violence.

“We want to say that this action is timely. As you maybe aware, we have an ongoing consultation to validate the roadmap, the anti-SGBV roadmap endorsed by the President.”

Mrs. Pope-Kai added: “So, in the revision process, as civil society actor, and as the Chairperson for the National Civil Society Council of Liberia, I am going to make sure that your points are raised, and input from this petition are considered in the revision process,” Mrs. Pope-Kai assured the protesters.

Also speaking, the Deputy Minister for Administration at the Ministry of Gender, Mrs. Parley Harris said the issue of rape is everybody’s business.

” You know the issue of rape is not just about women, we have our women, we have our girls, and we have our boys who are all affected. And so, as you rightly said, we are all in this together. This is not just about the government, this is about all of us. Rape is a societal problem,” Mrs. Harris added

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