LIBERIA: Battling Gender-Base Violence - National Research Council Begins Community Outreach

Thursday, August 8, 2013
Western Africa
PeaceWomen Consolidated Themes: 
General Women, Peace and Security
Sexual and Gender-Based Violence

The National Research Council has begun an intense gender-based violence campaigned in several communities in Paynesville.

The campaign cross cut on religious lines, gender and status. Young men and women were seen with placards and public announcement system [PA system] in various communities sending out messages aimed at ending gender base violence.

The NRC is a non-profit organization which seeks to alleviate Sexual Exploitation and Abuse and Gender Base Violence in Liberia.

The Executive Director of NRC Sinayou Roberts said his organization began the community outreach as a means of educating the public on SEA/GBV.

Robert said that Sexual exploitation of Women, children and youth is a serious, growing concern and has exploded, and continues to increase in Liberia.

Statistics from the Ministry of Gender and Development's Gender-Based Violence Unit indicates that rape and domestic violence accounts for over 70% of all reported cases of gender base violence.

The NRC Executive Director said most violence that is directed against women is on the basis of their gender. "Gender-based violence reflects and reinforces inequalities between men and women," Robert said.

Roberts said their project is funded by the Ministry of Youth and Sport and added that the NRC is grateful for the ministry's support.

"The number of Women, children and youth who have suffered from other forms of gender-based violence is much higher and are likely to result in, physical, sexual, psychological or economic harm in public or in private," Robert said.

"Our job is to conduct research and advocacy to make sure GBV come to an end in this country, Roberts said."The Women and Children Protection Department of the National Research Council-NRC will continue to carry on its effort to stop Gender base violent, sexual exportation and abuse in Liberia."

He said, the program is intended to buttress government effort in her drive to fight against gender base.

Half of Liberia's gender base violence occurring every year is with children from 0-14 years says Deddeh KweKwe the Ministry of Gender and Development Gender coordinator.

"Last year we lost five children and just before we get to the seven month of this year we have already lost four"[children].

The Gender Coordinator made the statement barely a month at the official program marking the launching of an advocacy project against Gender Base Violence sponsored by the Ministry of Youth and Sport and implemented by the National Research Council(NRC).

KweKwe said, strong measures and new policies have to be developed to stop the Madness of rape that is becoming a serious problem in Liberia.

"If the children have to be our future leader for tomorrow this madness called rape has to stop," KweKwe said.

On Monday December 24 2012 little Olivia 14 die after being rape at age 7 at the hand of her uncle that led to her death and her alleged rapist set free due to family out of court settlement.

KweKwe urged, NRC to engage parents, community and religious leaders and school authority in their nation-wide campaigned against gender base violence.

A total of 2,493 GBV cases were reported in 2012 and 2,383 in 2011 and 2,029 in 2010 and about 68% were rape cases, according to Ministry of Gender Reports.

According to KweKwe, most people do not see Sexual Exploitation and Abuse as an issue affecting girl's education.

"Most girls drop out of school as the result of sexual exploitation." KweKwe said more awareness has to be done in schools across the country.

KweKwe said, another problem affecting Liberia is the issue of teenage pregnancy. "All of the teenage pregnancy cases are rape case," KweKwe said.