Wave of Violence Against Women ‘Unacceptable’

11
1976
Some of the women at yesterday's event at the Foreign Ministry to petition President Weah to

— Liberian Women demand President Weah take action

Public concerns about the recent wave of violent activities across the country, especially the increasing number of violent assaults (physical, verbal and emotional) against women, was the principal reason for an array of women groups who assembled before the Foreign Ministry under a heavy downpour of rain to vent their anger and concern to President Weah.

At a well-attended petition event held on Wednesday, August 21, 2019 on the grounds of the Foreign Ministry in Monrovia, the women told President George Weah, “We acknowledge your recent statement reinforcing your dedication to peace and mandating the Justice Minister and officers of the Liberian National Police (LNP) to bring perpetrators of some of these recent incidents to justice, and we look forward to you ensuring that this mandate is carried out.”

The women continued: “We want you to contain incidences that are perpetuating violence against women and girls in our governance landscape.”

According to the women, the physical and verbal assaults of aspiring female political candidates, and their supporters in District #13 in November 2018, and District #15 in August 2019 Representative by-elections, respectively, and the online bullying during the recent 2019 Montserrado County Senatorial by-elections, were not only unpatriotic, but demonstrated the lack of respect for women, who sought to positively contribute to the nation by participating in the electoral process.

The women said these actions are in contravention of the Domestic Violence Bill, which the President signed into law less than two weeks ago.

“The systematic marginalization of women in government, politics, civil society, and the workforce as evidenced by statements those in government positions have made are potentially inciting chaos and violence,” the women groups said. Their statement was read to President Weah by a select representative.

The statement continued: “In the six-month period of December 2018 to July 2019, there were 2,021 reported cases of sexual gender-based Violence (SGBV) only in Monrovia. Based on this trend, by December 2019, this number can be expected to far exceed the 2,200 cases reported during  the 12-month period of December 2017 to December 2018. This is unacceptable.”

The women then called on President Weah to “ensure that the Ministry of Justice investigates police officers, who reportedly stood by and witnessed the violence against action Cornelia Kruah Togba, but did not intervene to stop the assaults in District #13, and the August 17, 2019 violent act against Ms. Telia Urey in District #15. We request an independent and impartial investigation into these incidents, and that the results be made accessible to the general public within two months.”

They also called on President Weah to “immediately suspend the Police Commissioner Walter Rays (LNP 105), for his repeated refusal to intervene in violent assaults against citizens perpetrated in his presence.”

According to the women, in the interest of peace, and to create a safe political space, President Weah should retract his purported statement that allegedly called for violence against female political candidates, and institute a zero-tolerance policy against government officials and political parties making comments that promote violence and derogatory comments against women and girls.

“Provide increased security presence throughout District #15 in the days immediately preceding and following the re-run date and until the winner is announced. Particular attention should be given to the six precincts that fall under the NEC’s mandate. All security personnel assigned to this detail must be professional in the execution of their duties. They must be well resourced, seasoned, disciplined and impartial security professionals who take their mandate seriously,” the women said to Weah.

They added that “Mandate the Ministry of Gender to provide a plan of action within two (2) weeks to address the issue of the increasing incidences of rape and other forms of SGBV and begin implementation immediately thereafter.

The women groups included Network of Peace and Security Women in ECOWAS Countries (NOPSWECO), Mano River Women in Peace Network (MARWOPNET), WONGOSOL, Women in Peace-building (WIPNET), Organization for Women and Children (ORWOCH), Community Health Initiative (CHI), Kids’ Education Engagement Project (KEEP-Liberia), Girls For Change (GFC) and U-FOUNDATION.

Receiving the statement, President Weah promised to address the concerns of the women to make Liberia a better place for everyone.

11 COMMENTS

  1. The women should protest all violence against women; including violence by other women. Perhaps next to rape FGM, the butchering of the “BUTCHERING OF THE FEMALES’ GENITALS” by other women is one of the worst violence against Liberian women. Protest against FGM; until it’s totally abolished. Stop FGM! Gentlemen prefer the whole package.

  2. Yeah. The Liberian women have a legitimate request. The Liberian women deserve equal protection irrespective of whether or not Liberia is a male-dominated society. The issue of male dominance is a no brainer. Some men (especially the Numbskull ones) will stupidly push that idea forward. For instance, some thuggish men punish or spank their wives without considering them as co-equals. That kind of bigoted thinking has got to stop. The women of Liberia pay taxes. Like their male counterparts, the women of Liberia contribute tremendously to the development process of Liberia. It’s my hope and prayer that the government of Mr. Weah will do all that’s possible to meet the concerns of our beloved wives, sisters, nieces, daughters, aunties and most especially, our mothers.

    I am women’s rights supporter! Make it 95% of women’s rights. Now, the reader may wonder or would like to know which rights I do not support.
    Okay, take a look:

    1. I do not support women’s lesbian rights. In this regard, I am undaunted because I know deep in my guts that “all” women do not support lesbian rights. I do not support that kind of human right. When Lot’s daughters did not have a man, they intoxicated their dad and forced sex on him. The young ladies did not get into kissing themselves! Period!

    2. I do not support women’s sexual promiscuity rights. Unfortunately, some deranged women think it’s okay or “right” to sell their bodies. On this one, I know that God, the Son and the Holy Spirit support me. Fornication is an abomination!. Pure and simple.

    3. I do not support “cheating and mistreatment” rights. Example, some Liberian men who managed to have taken some Liberian women to America were badly mistreated. Once some of the Liberian women obtained their Green Cards in the states, they cheated and kicked their Liberian husbands out. What I have described may not be deemed a “right” in the real sense of the word. But again, some women feel they have a right to dump their husbands once they’ve been legalized.

    In conclusion, women in Liberia and elsewhere deserve a full protection of the law.

  3. Bro Hney, I agree with you almost entirely. Just want to make few comments. From your writing, you are implying that it was ok for Lot’s daughters to commit incest with their dad, rather than pleasuring themselves with each other. Am I reading you right? Incest is a crime.

    Lesbianism has come to be the acceptable norm worldwide and my take on this is once those in the practice of it do it without infringing upon the rights of others, who are we to judge them? They will be judged by a Higher power. I dont condone it either.

    Kudos to the women of Liberia for taking such a huge stance against any and all types of violence against women, and this violence ought to be condemned by everybody. Let me quickly interject here that it is my hope that the autopsy report concerning young Odell will be made public and soon so the world can know what exactly happened.

    We are gradually degenerating into a place that a is dark reminder of past years and we are the laughing stock of the outside world. When did we come to this? Sad indeed.

    As for the Green Card issue, both men and women do it to each other, and I dare say it will continue, because, to me, it is a choice you make when you enter into such an arrangement. I was talking to my dad about this very issue about a couple of weeks and he said that such a thing was unheard of in the 70’s and 80’s but that times and thing have changed.

    You made some excellent points, Bro Hney. and good to know that you still around.

    Iam an incurable optimist, just like Dr. Sawyer is.

  4. Well, well Joe. It’s a pleasure hearing from you once again. For a while, I wondered where you could be found. Knowing that you’re a young guy, I had two thoughts:
    Joe might be hiding in a foxhole or
    Joe is messing around with a beautiful girl somewhere. You have shown up. It’s all good. I am spending some time in the motherland.

    Back to basics:
    A man named Adam was given authority by God to manage the garden of Eden. The gentleman was blessed with guys and gals by his wife Eve. Adam’s children grew up and intermarried. Adam’s children engaged in an incestous relationship. Their relationship was sanctioned by God. Abraham the patriarch married Sara, his half sister. From his relationship with his half sister, Isaac was born. Remember Joe, Lot’s daughters were Abraham’s grandnieces. Those nieces saw what their granduncle did. So when it was time for Lot’s girls to have sex, they did what their granduncle did. The young girls didn’t go around hugging and kissing one another.

    You’re right. Times change. Things change. Most Moslem friends that I knew married their female first cousins. It’s been rumored that the British Royalty do something like that. Don’t quote me on this one. The issue is no one complains when first or second cousins intermarry. But it’s kind of gross when you see two female cousins kissing in the streets.
    Bottom Line? I am not being judgemental Joe. My point is this: ” I am anti- lesbianism “. Joe, do I have civil liberties? I don’t support such rights. Dare you ask your uncle whether I am entitled to free speech and he will say, ” let me hear in front my boy, na mu soklo de.”. (Cassava…. Soklo).

    Green Cards…
    Joe, more men have become victims of Liberian women abuse in the states than the other way around.. I have seen it. A guy fought to get his girlfriend a visa. When the Liberian woman got on the plane, she sat next to a guy (a Liberian). While talking from this to that, the woman’s mind changed. Guess what Joe? The poor man who had struggled to send his girlfriend never saw her again. The gentleman whom the Liberian lady met on the plane, took her. At one time she claimed to have a right to “please myself”. God doesn’t like ugly! I will not support such a stupid right.

    Peace.

  5. It’s good for the women to come out to protest against violence meted against women in Liberia, resilient efforts. However, I’m taken aback why they did not move swiftly when that young girl was beaten 50 lashes in Soltiamon School by the son of Pastor Solomon Joah, brother of the very girl that read the petition.

    Advocacy is good when it is purely people motivated rather than politically motivated.

    That little girl beating was mere torture, but we did not see women coming out. But now we see them coming out immediately after Telia Urey was allegedly threatened by election violence on all sides of the political divide.

    Where was the advocacy petition presenter when her brother whipped that girl 50 lashes that left scars on her physically and mentally? Didn’t that act necessitate widespread protest from women, being led by herself (petition presenter). Her sister was abducted and nearly raped, safe for the mercy of God, it did not happen. So then where was she relative to advocacy for women’s protection?

    Her ruthless drug abusive brother frequently beats on his wife, what has she done against that gruesome act to protect her sister-in-law from the domestic violence happening under her own roof, in the family home?

    If that young lady is serious about women protection, she should impose on her brother to refrain from beating on his wife, then we will know the truth in her advocacy. She should not use the women’s protection issue to score political points because it will not yield result.

  6. Very rarely do I disagree with Bobby Dandrage. Yet I don’t know the number of times I have disagreed with him. Only on rare occasions.

  7. Brother Hney, No, I am in not hiding anywhere nor am I with any female. I am in Lofa at the moment visiting with family and friends. back to basics.
    Anyway you examine it, Lesbianism is a moral issue and positions are taken on moral issues such as these. So, I dare say, this is a conversation that will long continue. But, here is my point, one should not be in a position to judge anybody for his/her sexual preference.
    Once, rights are not infringed upon, they can do whatever they want to do and we will leave the Judging to God.
    you seemed well versed in biblical issues and i take your word for all that you said about what our ancestors did in the days of old. Like you rightly alluded, times and things have changed.

    Be safe, wherever you are, Brother Hney.

  8. F Hney, here is the veracity in the unfolding issues, so many girls have been abused and also killed but we never saw the women coming out in such drove, moreover demonstrable by lying down in rain to demonstrate after Telia Urey was allegedly threatened.

    Brother, do you remember the case of little Angel Tokpah who after being abused by Hans Williams, her aunt’s fiance, was murdered by her Aunt, and the death was later faked as suicide hanging. That gruesome acts should have predicated a serious march from not only the women but by all well meaning Liberians, sadly that did not happen. The incident happened on the Old Road, and the same girl (that read the petition to President Weah) along with her family live in the same community.

    Another incident is the statutory rape done to young underage girls at the More Than Me Academy, by the late HIV infected fiance of Miss Meyer, owner of the school. The demonstration against the rape incidents at the school was done by few people, mostly parents of the affected children and a few other supporters against child abuse. Where was the petition presenter and the rest of the women?

    Odell Sherman was reportedly raped and killed in cold blood, where was the petition presenter and the rest of the women?

    Only when we see Telia safety being threatened, then they all jump in the streets.

    Benoni Urey, father of Telia Urey is a known child abuser, sleeping with underage girls like his former boss Charles Taylor. If Telia wants to speak against predators that prey on the virtue of young women, she should confront her father to change his filthy attitude. This man makes it a habit of sleeping with underage girls until they reach maturity, flourishing them with expensive gifts like cars and apartments financed by his blood money.

    Brother F Hney, let me tell you about that filth called Benoni Urey. During the Charles Taylor regime, they had a group called Darkpanah Movement, comprising many underage girls. Tayor, Urey and the rest of his government officials frequently went for cabinet retreats and they used these girls as sex slaves during the retreats. Some were sleeping with three of more girls simultaneously. These young girls were abused, taken advantage of because of their desperate financial circumstances. These men had enough money to help those suffering girls without sleeping with them, but they refused, knowing that they too have daughters and would not like them to be abused in any manner or form.

    In conclusion, I do agree with the advocacy for women’s rights and safety, but it should be done for all affected women and not just a CHOSEN ONE.

  9. My dear honorable Bobby Dandrage,
    Your insightful comments as well as those of Joe Moses have been read and fully understood. I don’t understand why some of our people possess an instinct of mistreatment of the most vulnerable people amongst us. Usually women, especially poor uneducated women are pounced on to please the insatiable sexual appetites of the most powerful men. Very poignant. It must stop. God detests ugly!

    You’re right. Every mistreated girl or woman, irrespective of her socioeconomic status, deserves a full protection of the law. ALL human beings are equal in the eyes of God. That same principle must apply legally. In other words, no one is above the law.

    Hang in there.

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