Last week, the Minister of Gender, Children and Social Protection, Julia Duncan Cassell, started the distribution of bicycles, motorbikes and a Land Cruiser vehicle — all donated by UNICEF — to the Ministry’s coordinators in Buchanan, Grand Bassa County.
Making the presentation, Minister Cassell said the logistical materials were intended to enable officers of the Child Welfare Department assigned to political subdivisions, including districts, chiefdoms and clans, to move around and collect data on abuses against women, children and the elderly.
“As you all are aware, the issue of children is so important. Abuse, rape, sexual and gender-based violence as well as domestic violence, all of these have to be curtailed,” she said.
“These materials will enable our coordinators in the various counties to carry on their work smoothly.”
Sidestepping the cost of the donated logistical materials, Cassell instead warned the end users to handle them with proper care “so they serve the purpose for which they were intended.”
Qualifying the reason for providing bicycles as part of the logistical materials, she said that they help reduce maintenance cost “as maintenance cost for bicycles will not be as high as motorbikes and vehicles.”
The Minister used the occasion to call on parents to help the government in the fight against sexual and gender-based violence.
“Let us stop abusing our children; let us send our girls and other children to school. Let’s make our girl children reach their full potential,” she said.
“We must allow our girl and boy children to have equal opportunities. Treat them equally as children because your girl child can become the next minister, bishop, president, or any other position in the country.”