A local women group, the Paramount Young Women Initiative (PAYOWI), has challenged its male counterpart in the country to join the fight against Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV).
The call follows a series of workshops organized by the group to empower women, girls, boys and men to take positive actions to put an end to Sexual Gender Based Violence (SGBV) in the country.
The PAYOWI workshop, held on Friday, November 19, 2020, brought together men and young boys from various communities in Montserrado and Margibi counties under the theme: “Enough”.
The Enough project is being implemented by PAYOWI and it is sponsored by the European Union through OXFAM.
Speaking during the one day workshop, PAYOWI’s Executive Coordinator, Madam Facia Harris, claimed that many times, men and young boys are said to be the main perpetrators of SGBV.
According to Madam Harris, it was based on this that her organization has decided to engage males in the country so that they can have the needed information that demands their inclusion in fighting SGBV in the country.
She indicated that the fight to eliminate SGBV from the society should not be seen as a responsibility only for women, noting that it is about time that men take up the responsibility to work along with their female counterparts in preventing and finding solutions to eradicating SGBV from the Liberian society.
“The males should use their God-given power to play their role also in combating SGBV in the society, because it affects everyone despite your gender,” she said.
However, she expressed joy in seeing over 25 men joining the campaign to ensure that the issue of SGBV be eliminated in Liberia.
Madam Harris also called on them to create what she termed as “Peer to peer” awareness with their fellow men, as men are more likely to listen to fellow men regarding issues of SGVB.
Madam Harris also wants the fight against SGBV in the country to be pursued with transparency, indicating that if the fight against SGBV is not taken up with transparency and accountability by every Liberian, the development in every sector of the country would be an illusion.
Meanwhile, the participants who attended the training lauded PAYOWI for the workshop. Joshua N. Dennis, a participant, attributed the increase of SGBV cases in Liberia to what he called “Less attention by duty bearers.” This he said has caused many to take the issues of SGBV lightly and the lack of adequate awareness that will ensure everyone’s collaboration in putting an end to SGBV in the country.
Mr. Dennis however, pleaded with PAYOWI and its partners to extend the workshop to the rural parts of the country. He also called on other organizations to follow the good example of the women group.
Nathan Blasuwa Kwiah pledged his fullest commitment in joining the fight against SGBV in Liberia. He then promised to provide awareness in his community he leaves the training.