The Swedish Embassy near Monrovia last Thursday hosted a one-day consultation forum with key stakeholders to find a workable solution for the implementation of the United Nations Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 1325.
Ambassador Sofia Strand advised participants to exert more efforts to end violence against women and children in the country.
“Gender and domestic violence are having negative long lasting effects on families, especially in post conflict societies,” she emphasized.
The meeting was solicited suggestions on the Swedish National Plan for the Implementation of UN Security Council 1325.
For that, the female Envoy explained that freedom from violence is the basic for the development of any society.
She said gender-based violence creates fear and affects people’s behaviors and also hampers development as well as slows down national progress.
Ambassador Strand stressed that if the rights of women are not respected during peace times, it is almost impossible to protect them during violence times.
She disclosed that 1325 Resolution will create opportunity for women and girls to be protected in times of war since women have been direct victims of sexual gender-based violence.
She, however, admonished men and boys to engage themselves in the 1325 Resolution because gender inequality is a serious problem in the world.
She said it was Sweden that adopted first, the 1325 resolution, and held consultations with civil society organizations, military and Para-military personnel to protect women’ rights.
Bong County Senator Jewel Howard Taylor, who was one of the panelists, stressed that it is about time for women’s rights to be fully protected through the implementation of the UNSCR 1325.
“If the women get the necessary support needed during elections, there will be more of them at the national legislature and around the world through which they will also improve their livelihood,” she noted.
Senator Taylor said the issue of women empowerment is crucial to the growth of a society, because it would help women meet up contend with their male counterpart in terms of social, political and economic developments.
Speaking on the issue of women’s participation, Senator Taylor said she was surprised to note that out of the hundred of seats at the National Legislature, 11 are being occupied by female.
“It is time for Liberian women to begin active engagement and launch the ‘She for She’ campaign initiative intended to have women engaging each other not only during elections, to provide better governance.
The Deputy Commissioner of Bureau of Immigration and Naturalization, Asatu Bah Kenneth said that the UNSCR 1325 “is very important to the security sector, because it stands to promote the participation and protection of women and girls right.”
She said despite efforts to minimize rape, SGBV among others, rape continues to be very critical and alarming.
The BIN female official then recommended to the Swedish Government to support the women by providing funding, national and international trainings, which she said, are tools that will improve the sector.
The resolution is a legal document that requires parties in a conflict to prevent violations of women’s rights; their participation in peace negotiations as well as in post-conflict reconstruction, and protection of women and girls rights.