The chief of party of Investing for Business Expansion (IBEX) Liberia, Mrs. Watchen Bruce, has called on women and girls of Liberia to speak out on issues that are embarrassing them, including sexual harassment, sex for grades among others.
Madam Bruce made the call recently at a dinner organized by Safe Cities Women’s Forum, under the umbrella of Action Aid Liberia in Monrovia.
She called on women and girls to stand firm in whatever activities they find themselves engaged, with determination to do it better than their male counterparts.
She disclosed that the issue of violence against women and girls, including rape, murder and sexual harassment in schools and offices remain very high in the country and need to be abolished.
It is about time Liberian women and girls are empowered with all forms of educational skills, she declared.
The IBEX boss challenged all women and girls to speak out and report all forms of harassment at their various universities, high schools, communities and on their jobs.
“We need to report all forms of harassment. If we don’t speak out, these issues will continue affecting our children and women in our society,” Madam Bruce stated.
At the same time, the national coordinator of Forum for African Women in Education (FAWE), Madam Winifred Deline, joined Madam Bruce to encourage women to rise up and meet the challenge by fighting for their rights in schools, communities and at their jobs.
Madam Deline disclosed that there is a need to establish life skills programs, not only for girls but also for teachers in order to educate them about the dangers of sex for grades and other forms of harassment.
In an effort to eradicate such forms of violence, her organization (FAWE) set up a gender responsive program aimed at providing education to school administrations and teachers in order to free them of gender bias and encourage female students.
“If teachers do not teach in a gender responsive way, it will create a bad atmosphere for our women and girls’ education,” Madam Deline stressed.
She urged the students to rise up for their rights and fight against issues of gender bias. “If such issues are going on in your schools, communities and at the job site, voice it out and make others understand what you are going through.”
For her part the acting president of Safe Cities Women’s Forum, and a student of United Methodist University (UMU), Leona Gono, said her organization was established to protect women and girls by advocating for their rights.