The former Right to Play International Country Director, Timothy Paulus, has called on the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection to name and shame perpetrators of rape by publishing their names quarterly in all 15 counties as a deterrent to reduce rape cases in the country.
Mr. Paulus spoke yesterday in Monrovia at the launch of the First All Men Conference organized by the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection in collaboration with the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL).
The launch was held under the theme, “Liberian Men: Stepping it up for Gender Equality.’’ Mr. Paulus also served as one of the panelists.
Discussing men’s role in the eradication of domestic and gender-based violence in Liberia, Mr. Paulus called on government officials to focus on the eradication of rape so that minors that are reportedly raped would be protected and given a safe environment to better their condition.
“How will women succeed in their dreams when they are dying on a daily basis and are being raped at an early age? There is still a large number of cases of rape, which are mainly of women and girls, while statistics show that men are the direct perpetrators of rape in the country; this is why men must stand up against rape and gender based violence,” he urged.
He warned that the government and partners should create massive awareness about rape across the country, and should put into place measures that would fast-track rape cases so that victims can be well taken care of and take alleged perpetrators to court.
Officially launching the 500 Men Conference, Minster Julia Duncan Cassell explained that the purpose of the conference was to elevate the advocacy of gender equality and women’s empowerment at a different level-that all men who are HeForShe Champions will engage other men to solicit and increase the support of men’s involvement to promote and encourage gender equality, women’s empowerment, and identify ways to foster the idea of the protection of women’s rights
“We believe that an essential way of engaging men, who are believed to be the primary violators of women’s rights, is to strengthen their knowledge on women’s issues by creating the platform to listen to their views and solicit partnership with them,” she said.
“Gender equality needs the active contribution, support and participation of men and policies should also address gender-related inequalities that affect boys and men.”
Mr. Eddie Jarwolo, Executive Director of NAYMOTE, also stressed the importance for women to be given support so that they can work with their male counterparts for the benefit of the country.
During his discussion on ‘Reducing Inequality in Governance – Challenges and Prospects,’ he urged women to untie themselves and work as a team to ensure equal participation in all aspects of life.
He welcomed the ministry’s idea for organizing the conference and urged men to join the process by encouraging women in their endeavor to eradicate rape and GBV.
Meanwhile, the intention of the program was to host 500 men but did not meet the target as less than one hundred men attended the program.
However, panelists from the legislature and other speakers which included Mr. Eddie Jarwolo, Executive Director of NAYMOTE, Mr. Gbenzongar Finley, former Pro-tempore, Mr. Thomas Doe Nah of the Carter Center, traditional leaders among several others, called on Liberians to fight against SGBV and work together to encourage gender equality and women’s empowerment, and identify ways to foster the idea of protecting women’s rights.