UN Women calls for immediate action
UN Women Operations Director, Yawo Mensah Magio, said incidents of sexual violence against women and girls continue to escalate, with 1,028 of cases reported for the period between January to June this year alone.
Magio made the statement yesterday, November 13, when UN Women donated office supplies to the Sexual and Gender Based Violence (SGBV) Unit of the Liberia National Police (LNP), in order to strengthen the country’s prosecution services.
The donation was a part of the activities outlined in the government and United Nations Joint Program to respond to and prevent SGBV and harmful traditional practices in the country.
The fund was provided by Sweden Embassy through the Swedish International Development Cooperation (SIDA).
Magio added, “We are alarmed by these increasing numbers, and wonder why women and girls continue to be violated, with perpetrators walking with impunity. This is a concern for everyone who may have a girl child, because it is very serious.”
He said violence against women and girls is one of the most serious, pervasive and widespread crime in the country.
Magio said that one in three women and girls experiences physical or sexual violence at some point in life, “because in Liberia, violence against women and girls has been deeply entrenched in social and cultural landscape, yet it remains one of the least crimes for which the perpetrators are never prosecuted.”
He said all forms of violence against women and girls are human rights-related matters and that it is an impediment to the advancement of women and girls.
The issue of sexual and gender-based violence and harmful traditional practices, according to Magio, requires a multifaceted approach involving all stakeholders, civil society organizations, government, the international community, religious leaders and youth.
“It is our fervent hope that these supplies will strengthen your capacity to ensure the safety and protection of our girls and women, ensuring that perpetrators are brought before a court and prosecuted for crimes against women and girls,” Magio said.
Upon receiving the items, the Division Director of the SGBV Unit, John Africanus Aquoi Gabriel, expressed gratitude to UN Women, promising to use the items not only in Monrovia but across the country.