My heart has been bleeding with displeasure and discontent since Sunday for the 12 year old school-age girl who was cruelly raped to death by a 40-year old man in Brewerville City, Montserrado County. With tears rolling down my face and pain running through my vein, I greatly share in the sorrow of the bereaved family.
It is unfortunate and sad to comprehend the alarming rate of rape in Liberia. Why should Liberia have 554 rape cases just in 12 months under a female President and Gender Minister? This is ridiculous and bizarre.
Therefore, I hereby recommend the following measures:
- Review and Reshape our rape law and make it more rigorous in order to deter prospective rapists. The implementation of and adherence to this statute is paramount as well.
- Establish a special anti-rape court with a statutory mandate to hear cases of rape and sexual crimes only and increase support to WACP unit, Gender Ministry, and other women-related organizations.
- Minister Julia Duncan Cassell needs to resign or be dismissed due to incompetence and non-qualification. You cannot have a Minister in such a critical position with a proven record of inefficiency and ineffectiveness to prevent crimes against girls and women. Government is not about friendship!
- Increase tariff or import tax on alcoholic beverages and goods and on domestic brewery companies.
- Increase tariff or import tax on sexy/enticing/tempting attires or pornographic wearing used mostly by women.
- Prevent underage citizens or kids from visiting video clubs and entertainment centers. A juvenile should not have access to liquor.
- Prohibit sale of pornographic video and audio on the Liberian Market
- Create genuine empowerment and employment programs for young girls and women.
- Set up an anti-rape taskforce in each district, and if possible in each community.
- Increase access to basic information on prevention of rape in all schools and empower more SGBV counselors and GBV community mobilizers.
As I mourn the untimely homegoing of this innocent child, it provokes my tenacity and invokes my audacity to advance an uncompromising struggle to defend our sisters and mothers from all forms of exploitation and abuse. It is time to fight for them, because they are very vulnerable to unscrupulous non-entities and societal enemies.
Until we can consider women as our equal partners, our country will remain on an irreversible verge of underdevelopment and inequality. They are not sub-humans, but creatures with extraordinary abilities. We must protect their right to coexist freely. The choice is yours to remain mute or raise loud alarm in defense of their rights and protection. I will make my position formal very soon on the recent rape incident and the general exploitation of women in Liberia.
This nonsense (rape) must come to an end.