Rev. Dr. Jonathan B. B. Hart, Bishop of the Episcopal Church of Liberia, has called on Christians and Muslims to rise up and join the fight against Sexual Gender Based Violence (SGBV) affecting girls and women which continues to plague society.
Dr. Hart is also the Archbishop of the Internal Province of West Africa, president of the Inter-religious Council of Liberia and president of the Liberian Council of Churches (LCC).
Addressing a news conference in Monrovia on Tuesday, Bishop Hart noted that since the end of the 14-year civil crisis in Liberia, there has been a remarkable increase in violence against women and girls.
According to Bishop Hart, violence against women and girls such as beatings, rape and deprivation of basic essentials are common in the country, and as such, he called on Christians and Muslims to join the advocacy and spread the SGBV message.
According to the Bishop, the Ministry of Gender was adding its voice to the global campaign by launching the 16 Days of Activism campaign.
He therefore called on stakeholders including the Episcopal Church of Liberia Relief and Development (ECLRD) to join the international campaign.
ECLRD is an independent faith-based relief and developmental agency established by the Episcopal Church of Liberia to empower local communities to fight poverty, and advocate against violence perpetrated on women and girls.
“We are calling on all Christians and Muslims to help government in the fight against SGBV because they are the ones who control huge congregations,” said Bishop Hart.
He said to support the observance of the government-led 16 Days of Activism, ECLRD will collaborate with the Ministry of Gender and other GBV actors in Grand Cape Mount County to carry out some aspects of the campaign with concentration in the Garwula, Tewor and Gola Konneh Districts.
The Bishop said the campaign will focus on advocacy, under the theme, “Safe Spaces and Education for All,” and carry out a massive awareness and sensitization campaign in the GBV program’s targeted communities.
Bishop Hart further disclosed that the official launch of the 16 Days of Activism will be held simultaneously in Montserrado and Grand Cape Mount Counties.
Following the launch in Robertsport, he said, the ECLRD will work in collaboration with the Gender Ministry to conduct awareness activities at the administrative seat of each of ECLRD’s program districts on specific dates.