Liberia’s First Female Vice President Chief Dr. Jewel Howard-Taylor says national decision makers, ordinary citizens and people of all walks of life must ensure by customs, actions and law that violence against women and girls is no longer a norm in Liberia.
“No girl or woman should experience any form of violence against them,” she said in an Instagram post on Sunday, November 25, 2018.
According to the Liberian Vice President, making stringent laws is not enough when it is not accompanied by actions that would ensure the protection of girls or women against abuse.
The 2018 recipient of the “Champion Of Women Affairs in Africa” indicated that she sees championing the cause of women as a responsibility and obligation. The award was given by the African Women Group, powered by The Society For Empowerment and Self Reliance in Accra, Ghana.
Vice President Howard-Taylor’s clarion call could not come at any better time than now when rape accounts for 61% of the 462 Sexual Gender Based Violence (SGBV) cases reported in Liberia during the first quarter of 2018 while 59 percent occurred in Montserrado County, where the nation’s capital city is located; 10 percent also occurred in Bong, while Grand Gedeh, Sinoe and Margibi counties recorded seven, six and five percent respectively.
The report released by the Ministry of Gender Children and Social Protection indicated that women and girls constitute 92.4 percent, which means that women and girls are the most vulnerable people to rape with different forms of gender-based violence.
Of that figure, the report added that adolescence girls aged 10-19 years, 278 or 60 percent were affected. Hence, girls under 18 years accounted for 72.7 percent, while 7.6 percent of the same violence was perpetrated against boys.
The 2018 Gender campaign’s global theme is “End Gender Based Violence in the World of Work: while the National theme is, ” End Gender Based Violence In Work Places, Schools and Communities: Take Actions, Report It and Promote a Liberia Free of violence.”