The initiative aims to collaborate with the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection (MGCSP) to enhance its county-level staffs’ capacities to uncompromisingly implement programs and policies that promote the rights of women and girls against gender-based violence.
The Executive Director of Institute for Research and Democratic Development (IREDD), Matthias M. Yeanay, made the remarks on Wednesday, August 10, during an interception meeting with government’s ministries and agencies, including Liberia Immigration Service (LIS), Liberia Land Authority (LLA), Liberia National Police (LNP), Ministry of Finance and Development Planning (MFDP), Gender Ministry and others.
Mr. Yeanay said the three- month UNDP supported project seeks to create adequate awareness on violence against women and girls across the Liberian society.
“It also directly seeks to engage with relevant government institutions to integrate efforts to combat violence against women and girls related issues through the national development plan of Liberia,” Mr. Yeanay stated.
According to him, Grand Cape Mount, Montserrado, Lofa, Grand Gedeh and Nimba Counties have been identified for the three- month initiative.
Commenting on causes of violence against women and girls, Yeanay said violence is caused by cultural factors, legal factors, economic factors and political factors and named physical, sexual, emotional and psychological and financial abuse as some of the violence against women.
According to him, to remedy the situation, there will be direct engagement with relevant stakeholders on programs for women’s rights and protection against Sexual Gender Based Violence (SGBV).
“We will organize town hall meetings, workshops or seminars with relevant national-level actors to gather views on preventive and deterrent measures of SGBV issues across communities of the project’s counties,” he said.
Mr. Yeanay disclosed that the 15 Ministry of Gender County’s Coordinators capacities will be strengthened, 100 key government officials engaged and implored to integrate efforts into the national development plan to uncompromisingly combat violence against women and girls.
“We will have four policy dialogue meetings with one per county on women’s rights and key government’s officials engaged, co-designed strategies and programs for prompt action into violence against women and girls,” he added.
The Team Leader for Governance and Public Institutions at the United Nations Development Programs, James P. Monibah, said stakeholders have done a lot in addressing violence but more is needed.
Mr. Monibah told the stakeholders that IREDD will work with everyone beginning with the strengthening firstly institution’s internal accountability mechanism because most often violence against women and girls is looked at from outside.
“There are women who have harassed and sexually abuse within your various institutions. What are the issues that affected you within your institution? We are concerned on how you coordinate for instance on data collection,” Mr. Monibah pointed out.
He said currently each government’s institution different number on gender-based violence in Liberia or violence against women and girls, stating “the police have different number, and gender ministry also has different number.”