16 Days of Activism launched by Gender Ministry

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Violence against women
Child marriage
Gender Based Violence (GBV)
116 Help-lines Initiative launched

The Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection (MGCSP), will tomorrow officially launch the 25th observance of the 16 Days of Activism, to be followed by the signing of a SGBV Joint Program and the launch of a 116 Child Help-lines bank, according to a press release from the ministry.

The 16 Days of Activism is a campaign to end violence against women. It takes place annually from November 25 to December 10. The global campaign, undertaken by women’s organizations, national government, and other stakeholders, spans some very significant dates in the women and human rights movement.

This year’s 16 Days of Activism is being observed under a national theme: “From Peace in The Home to Peace in The World; Stop Domestic Violence, End Child Marriage While Educating All.”

Key activities of the Activism program will include interaction with female Zoes in Margibi County on December 6 and an All Men’s Conference on GBV and Gender. The World Aids Day and the Day of the Disabled are all included in this year’s celebration.

Another significant event is the launch of the “End Child Marriage Campaign”, a Women’s Round Table, and a Panel Discussion on the Strategy and Framework to End child marriage. The Activism program will be climaxed with an official closing event on December 10, which is also the celebration of International Human Rights Day.

Since 2001, Liberia has been actively taking part in the campaign. This year’s observance is a call to action to provide resources for healthy and none abusive environments where everyone can enjoy peace and safety.

Gender Based Violence across the country remains an uphill challenge with rape still being a major threat to the security of women and children throughout Liberia, the press release said. The Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection’s GBV statistics show that from January to August, a total of 931 cases were reported, of which 610 were rape cases.

At the same time, the 116 Help-lines Initiative, with toll free emergency numbers, is being developed to enable children and young people to reach out to somebody or a relevant authority in emergency and non-emergency situations. It is being designed to offer a listening ear, counseling and referral services to victims of Sexual and Gender Based Violence (SGBV) as well as to provide children in distress an outlet to voice their problems.

Priority areas of this year’s campaign are to expand the accountability of national and sub-national structures and leadership, to enhance the prevention of GBV at all levels. Other targets for this year’s program are advocating for conducive environments and access to quality education free of violence for all, obtain national and local commitment to end child marriage, and provide supportive services for children to ensure they are protected from harmful influences, violence, abuse and exploitation.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection is urging all state actors, private sector actors, and the entire citizenry to join in the fight against sexual and gender based violence.

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