-Trains 30 Community Leaders on GBV Issues
The executive director of the Alliance for Women Advancement (ALWA), Herrietta F. Martor, says the role of community leaders is important in minimizing Gender Based Violence (GBV) in Liberia.
Director Martor made the remarks Thursday, February 21 at a one-day training of effective leaders at the Lutheran Compound in Sinkor, where she indicated that community leaders are strategically placed to assist in addressing GBV issues.
“We want to ensure that community leaders understand GBV issues, including causes, effects and their roles in ending it. Increasing awareness on the prevention of GBV in various communities is cardinal,” Madam Martor said.
She said the seminar also intends to educate community leaders about the legal services her organization is providing to victims of GBV. She said the workshop was aimed at providing clear information on divorce law, persistent-non-support, rape and the role of leaders in the community, including limitations because some GBV cases are above intervention.
Madam Martor attributed GBV to disrespect, cruelty, and lack of love on the part of both partners. “if you respect a lady you will not rape her, abandon her along with the children and divorce her,” she said.
She further noted that the justice system will also help in ending GBV at all levels in Liberia. “We don’t need to have a society where women and girls continue to experience GBV,” she noted.
Madam Martor said ALWA’s initiative is meant to put smiles on the faces of GBV victims, indicating that “they sometimes get disappointed within the justice system, because of the lack of opportunity to pursue their rights.”
“With support from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), we are providing access to justice for women and girls, including vulnerable groups in Liberia. “We help women and girls who are facing legal problems and don’t have the resources to go to court. We provide legal representation for them,” she said.
Madam Martor said her organization helps to provide transportation for victims and their witnesses to get to court, “we also provide transport for the victims to seek treatment.”
Furthermore, Madam Martor said, “We have mitigated in a conflict between a former husband and wife for them on many occasions to be in harmony because of the children. This is intended to ensure that the children live in peace and freely interacts with their parents.”
According to her, there is a plan to decentralize the organization’s activities in the remaining counties, so that ALWA’s services are provided to the entire society.
Madam Martor said the organization is currently in two counties, Montserrado and Margibi. “We want to make impact in communities where the organization operates before extending it to other areas,” she said.
ALWA is a non-governmental organization aimed at addressing some of the numerous challenges that compromise the rights and the advancement of women and girls, including vulnerable groups in society.