Liberia’s Vice President Wants Girls Refrain From Early Sex, Marriage

Liberia's first female Vice President, Chief Dr. Jewel Howard-Taylor

As part of efforts to empower and enlighten girls on the essentials of their bodies, Liberia’s First Female Vice President Chief Dr. Jewel Howard-Taylor has encouraged young females to believe in themselves and muster the courage to stay in school, advising them to refrain from early sex and marriage if they must be successful in life.

Provided mentorship awareness by Jewel Starfish Foundation (JSF), beneficiaries in Todee District, Montserrado County were admonished by VP Taylor to maintain their bodies because it is their choice to do their best with it.

Speaking on the theme: “Your Body, Your Choice,” Taylor informed the JSF beneficiaries that any form of narcotic substance and sexual-based violence are dangerous for the body and, as such, must not be encouraged.

These violations, according to Madam Taylor, are the concern of society and they need to be eliminated.

Madam Taylor stressed that these abuses affect the mind of an individual, noting that, “that is why we are here to chase those (drug) dealers away and educate you on the importance of your body which is your pride.”

She cautioned parents to desist from the habit of concealing those who are found in the habit of abusing their children, urging male to also commit to protecting their female counterparts.

Taylor motivated the girls to value their education in order to make the rightful choices in contributing to society, noting that “you should focus on things you want to do in the future.”

At the same time, she vowed to revisit Todee District on the October 11, to observe International Child Day, promising to launch a vocational skills training program for the beneficiaries as a means of empowering them to gain finances that will help cater for their needs.

Meanwhile, Chinese Ambassador to Liberia, Fu Jijun, who also attended the occasion, commended the Vice President for her continuous support towards women and girls empowerment, while reaffirming China’s commitment to providing support in developing women and girls in Liberia.

Ambassador Fu encouraged the girls to focus on their studies, adding that the reason behind China’s success over the past 40 years has been the nation’s investment in females, noting that they constitute half of those that run the country’s affairs.

The occasion was also graced by representatives from UNAIDS, UNFPA and the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection.

The Jewel Starfish Foundation is a non-profit organization that seeks to empower Liberian girls in the 15 counties of the country.

It was established by Vice President Howard-Taylor.



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