The United Nations Women and the Liberia National Police on January 21st ended a one day workshop to validate findings from a gender audit that has helped the LNP to develop a new draft policy.
The LNP aims to increase the number of female officers in the force.
The one-day event, which brought together participants from the Ministry of Justice, Civil society actors, religious leaders among others was held in the conference hall at the Liberia National Police headquarters in Monrovia.
During the event, the UN Women Country representative, Marie-Goreth Nizigama said the LNP requested technical and financial support from UN Women to assess the implementation of the LNP Gender Policy and to develop an Action Plan for the next five years.
“It was based on the request the UN Women partnered with the Standing Police Capacity (SPC) of the UN Department of Peace Keeping Operations (DPKO) and deployed a Gender Advisor who undertook the task and drafted the Gender Audit Report,” she said.
According to her, the major objective of the event was to unveil findings of the gender audit to the senior leadership of the LNP and other relevant stakeholders and invite their comments with the aim of having an all-inclusive Gender Audit Report of the LNP.
Madam Nizigama noted that the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 (UNSCR 1325) on Women, Peace and Security (WPS) unanimously adopted in 2000, highlights the disproportionate impact conflicts have had on women and girls and further raises the importance of ensuring the full participation and inclusion of women and girls in participating in processes affecting their peace and security.
She said eight other resolutions were adopted by the Security Council afterward to further address different issues on women, peace, and security and these include conflict-related sexual violence, limited funding for gender-responsive training and program focused on inclusion of women in preventing violent extremism, among others.
She told the participants that as per Article 25 of the United Nations Charter, all United Nations member states are legally obligated to accept and implement the decisions of the Security Council. Madam Nizigama said considering the expiry of previous National Action Plan (NAP) and the 2015 Concluding Observations of the CEDAW committee which recommended that the Government of Liberia must regularly review the NAP on the implementation of UNSCR 1325, the Government of Liberia in response has started the process of developing the second phase of the NAP on WPS.
She then challenged the administration of the LNP to ensure the number of females in the force increases as well as the number of female officers in senior leadership positions as stated in the National Gender Policy of the Government of Liberia.
Meanwhile, Saymor K. Mulbah, deputy police commissioner for administration lauded the UN Women for its continued support to the LNP and noted that while it is true that gender mainstreaming is essential to the LNP there is a need to ensure that these policies are fully implemented.
He said over the years the LNP has fought very hard to make all of its policy documents gender friendly, but the issue of capacity building has been a serious challenge.
He, however, pledged the LNP leadership’s support to ensure that these policies are fully implemented.
Susie T. Telleh, LNP Assistant Commissioner and head of the Women and Children Protection Section (WACPS), said even though working as a female in any security force is a bit difficult, most especially when males dominate, men “sometimes feel that their female counterparts are the weaker vessels, as such the take advantage over them.”