By Uriah Solo Lewis in Zwedru
About 1500 cases of sexual and gender based violence(SGBV) are reported in Liberia every year, the United Nations Population Fund/UNFPA has disclosed at the just ended three-day symposium in Zwedru, Grand Gedeh County.
Brian Kironde, team leader on Youth and Gender of UNFPA-Liberia said his organization’s role is to basically bring face to face issues concerning women’s empowerment, women reproductive health and the removal of barriers that prevent women from fully exercising their rights.
He said they are looking at SGBV which, he said, is very prevalent in Liberia, where about 1500 cases are recorded every year.
Kironde said due to the gravity of violence against women, the UNFPA is working along with partners, including ActionAid and United Nations Development Program (UNDP) as well as other Community-based Organizations to make it a point of discussion.
The symposium was intended to look at issues relative to the SGBV, discuss them in such a way as to find solutions to address them.
The activities are part of the national peace-building initiative.
Kironde recalled how the 2017 elections incited hate messages and violence against women, “but it is about time that people should preach peace messages at all levels.
He added the action from the symposium will form a part of the working tools that would be be presented to the United Nations General Assembly.
Joseph Madzvamuse, the Global Youth Advisor of ActionAid-Liberia, said the objective of the seminar was to take stock of youth’s engagement in Sexual and Gender-based Violence.
The symposium brought together over 75 participants from the 15 counties along with a cross-section of the project’s beneficiaries, government officials, implementing partners, umbrella youth groups, motorcyclists and street vendors respectively.