WONGOSOL Creates Aware On Peer Violence On Gender Based Violence

The Women NGO Secretariat of Liberia (WONGOSOL) held a one day Forum in observance of the 16 Days of Activism aim at educating young people on peer violence on Gender- Based Violence in schools and communities.

The one-day Forum brought together 25 youth from various institutions and organizations including communities to discuss Gender- Based Violence reflecting on real life stories that can be documented and reported for justice purposes.

In a special statement, Madam Beatrice Newland echoed the growing wave of violence occurrences against women and girls in many parts of Liberia that need to be addressed.

Madam Newland who is currently serving as the Gender Justice Coordinator on the Funding Leadership Opportunity for Women (FLOW) Program in Liberia, reported increased reports of violence against women in Liberia, mandated that everyone fight to reduce violence against women and girls.

The Gender Justice Coordinator of OXFAM encouraged young and older men nationwide to begin speaking of the negative effect of violence against women and girls in every aspect of their lives in order to desist perpetrators from the thought that women and girls are less important or could be mistreated in relationships, on the job or marketplaces at their will and pleasure.

She recognized the efforts of WONGOSOL in her fight to reduce violence as part of this year’s Sixteen Days of Activism under the national theme, “Let’s Embrace Our Diversities for Safe Education and a Violent Free Society”; while under the Funding Leadership Opportunity for Women (FLOW)is “Tracking Violence against Women Beyond Borders.”

Meanwhile, Mrs. Newland stressed that regardless of gender violence against women and girls; the government and partners and men need to support the wellbeing of women and girls and they must act now!

Nevertheless, Madam Newland maintained that due to this growing number of gender -insensitive reports, the Government of Netherlands has been moved to finance organizations including WONGOSOL,FCI, NIPO, YOCEL and Organization for Women and Children (ORWOCH) to reduce violence affecting women and girls nationwide through different programs and strategies in Grand Gedeh, Sinoe and Montserrado Counties as a medium to support and sustain women and girls access to justice.

During the forum, several pieces of information including video clip of violence, stories emerging from communities among families were revealed as tangible ways of how violence can be perpetrated against women and girls in the home, communities and school houses in Liberia.

In her closing remarks, Marpue Spare, Head of WONGOSOL, called on young women to begin reporting immediate inappropriate touches on their body parts by anyone to reduce violence cases.

She noted that this could be some of the factors for perpetrators to violate young people in the Liberian society, among families and elderly peoples and as the results of the limited knowledge of parents to pursuit justice; today cases are compromise leading survivors with no redressed.

Madam Speare believes that if youths are reporting incidences of violence,  the move will prevent the prevalence of sexual attacks faced by teenager’s girls as well as boys who are also being solemnized in Liberia and cannot be reported.

In conversation with this paper, a beneficiaries of the forum in person of Timothy Zahn, the Administrative Officer for the Organization of Women and Children (ORWOCH), agreed with other speakers and participants to do away with an age – old perception “that is not my business” to report violence cases”; but the immediate reporting of incidences of violence against women and girls in communities is the best approach to curb the act; despite of who the person could be.

He added that most Liberian women’s survivability solely rests on the shoulders of men and this has contributed largely to the lack of respect for women as well as the poverty level of the country economic hardships being faced by families.

Zahn believes that women have great prospects and can explore for the better, if they are given the chance by their male counterparts.

He also called on victims and families to take courage and test the legal system of Liberia to seek justice and do not compromise violent cases against being perpetrated against them.

The Administrative Officer for the Organization of Women and Children (ORWOCH) admonished the current and incoming lawmakers not to touch the already existing good laws on the book that protect the rights of women and girls.

He urged them to strengthen these laws and re-enforce them to bring perpetrators to book so as to relief women from inflicted pains they suffer each day.

For her, the President of ECOWAS Women in Liberia, Mouna Ahmed believes that Liberia needs stronger laws in defense of women, something she thinks is because of some poor traditional practices of the laws from the unset are against women and these laws can be fought only when there are stronger advocacies for women’s rights throughout the country.