-Says Deputy Gender Minister Howard; as faith-based leaders Hold GBV project debriefing
The Deputy Minister at the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection, Alice Johnson-Howard, says a recent Liberia demographic and health survey has revealed that 43% of women are physically and sexually abused by men and therefore they must find innovative strategies to fight violence against women and girls..
In a speech delivered by her technical assistant, Wolobah Momolu at the one-day Gender-Based Violence (GBV) project dissemination of evaluation report of 2015-2017, Minister Howard said the project was implemented from 2015 to 2017, to address violence against women and girls at its roots by seeking to shift knowledge, attitudes and behaviors around how women and girls are valued and treated in Liberia.
She said Liberia has been grappling with continuous violence against women and girls for many years, and thanked the organizers for ensuring that attention is paid to the conversation about violence against women and girls.
“On this note, we would like to reiterate our deep gratitude to the Episcopal Church of Liberia Relief and Development (ECLRD) for their efforts towards influencing this important debate on ending violence against women and girls. As this problem is deeply rooted in our communities, we need all hands on deck to ensure that women and girls are valued in our society and are given the opportunity to strengthen the social fabric of our country,” she said.
Minister Howard expressed gratitude to the Episcopal Relief and Development (ERD) for their institutions’ ongoing commitment to join the fight to end violence against women and girls, which is systemic in “our society, as a means to restore hope and dignity to our mothers, grandmothers, aunts, sisters and children.”
Earlier, ERD Executive Director Annette M. Kiawu said the goal of the project is to ensure that women speak out, to talk about intimate partner relationships whether from the partner or non-partner and want them to have access to services.
Mrs. Kiawu said the program was also designed to prevent and respond to violence against women and girls by addressing beliefs, attitudes and behaviors related to women and girls’ roles and rights in society.
According to Kiawu, faith-based leaders therefore can play powerful roles, both in preventing violence against women and girls and facilitating more effective responses to incidents of violence.
Mrs. Kiawu said the program works with Christians and Muslims to prevent and respond to violence against women and girls in Grand Cape Mount and Rivercess counties.
She said the GBV project was designed for three years in collaboration with the Ministry of Gender, the United Nations Trust Fund and Islamic Relief USA with the theme: “Engaging Faith-Based Organizations to Prevent and Respond to Violence Against Women and Girls and Increase Survivors’ Access to Services in Liberia.”
The GBV three-year project (2015-17) team is headed by Mr. Boima Gailor, Project Monitoring and Evaluation Officer and Kristen L. Muth, senior advisor, Episcopal Relief and Development.
It was attended by The Most Rev. Jonathan B.B. Hart, Archbishop, and Internal Province of West Africa/Bishop of the Episcopal Church of Liberia.