ActionAid Liberia with financial support from the European Union (EU)and in collaboration with its implementing partner Community Healthcare Initiative (CHI), has launched a three-year project entitled, “Enhanced Protection from Sexual Gender-based Violence (SGBV) for Women, Girls and Sexual Minorities in Liberia.”
This new initiative is a comprehensive approach to addressing SGBV in the country through prevention and support at community levels. It enhances response from providers (legal, health, education, gender) to survivors.
The project will contribute to a more gender sensitive society, benefiting 6,000 women, girls and sexual minorities in eight communities in Margibi, Gbarpolu, and Montserrado counties.
The EU funded project seeks to improve protection from sexual violence and other forms of SGBV, including female genital mutilation in Liberia and assist survivors.
The project will also facilitate the social, legal and economic empowerment of women, girls and sexual minorities to include community leaders, to take actions that would increase access to justice for survivors.
It will use a range of strategies, including advocacy for implementation of laws protecting women, girls and other groups from SGBV; strengthening community and national mechanisms that would develop civil society representatives in rural communities.
In 2018, the project is working with 440 women, girls and sexual minorities to lead on advocacy demand for protection from sexual violence and other forms of SGBV in the victims’ communities, while gaining economic independence.
The project will enrich the knowledge of 120 traditional and religious leaders across the eight communities, to improve residents’ efficiency to justice by preventing and/or responding to SGBV cases at community levels.
In the three counties, 150 SGBV duty bearers from the health, justice, gender, and education sectors and 10 Liberian media organizations (online, print and radio) will enhance their ability to perform and coordinate in a gender responsive way.
Under the project, emphasis will be placed on promoting an inclusive multi-stakeholder cooperation and civil society dialogue that builds on existing platforms and informs collective actions, including national advocacy campaigns to influence the improvement of policies to help prevent SGBV.
With this support from the EU, ActionAid and CHI will seek to ensure that demands from women, girls and sexual minorities engaged in sustained action beyond the project to support the rights of all women, girls and sexual minorities.
The project will be implemented in Banjor, Caldwell and Low-Cost Village in Montserrado County; Kpan’s Town and Larkayta in Margibi County, Gbellekpalamu, Gbarqueta and Smith Town in Gbarpolu County.
The program will work with the ministries of Gender, Children and Social Protection, Internal Affairs,Health, Education and Justice (specifically, sex crimes unit, human rights division, women and children protection section).
Strategic stakeholders of the project are the Association of Female Lawyers in Liberia, the FGM Working Group and Liberia’s Initiative for the Promotion of Rights, Identity and Diversity, Women NGO Secretariat of Liberia and Liberian Women Media Action Committee.