The Deputy Minister of Justice for Administration and Public Safety, Wheatonia Dixon Barnes, has acknowledged that women in Liberia are often pressured by society to compromise on violence against themselves.
Addressing women security officers during a program held Monday at the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection on UN Drive in Monrovia, Deputy Minister Barnes explained that women around the world gather on this day to celebrate their economic, political and social achievements and to promote actions that advance their rights and opportunities.
The International Women’s Day was celebrated under the global theme, ‘Make it Happen’ and the national theme, “Women Rising Beyond Ebola: the Way Forward for Female Security Sector Officers in Liberia.”
“In many stances, women are pressured by society to compromise on this kind of violence against them—rape,” Minister Barnes said. “As security officers, it is your responsibility to help educate communities on the law and to encourage even survivors to come forward and build trust within the law.”
The Minister explained that on a daily basis Liberian women continue to suffer a high level of violent abuse, including rape, gender-based violence and domestic violence.
“We are also acting in solidarity with women across the globe who took time to pay tribute to women and support women’s equality.”
She recalled that the UN General Assembly Resolution instituted this day in 1977 to highlight and recognize that securing peace and social progress and the full enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms required active participation of equality and development of women.
She continued, “Women’s Day is also created to appreciate the efforts of women in maintaining international peace and security. In Liberia, our history has taught us that there is no sustainable peace and security in the absence of equality.”
Also speaking, the President of Liberia Female Law Enforcement Association (LIFEA), Atty. Asatu Bah Kenneth, said they were grateful for International Women’s Day and explained that women in the security sector were also engaged in various assignments during the fight against the Ebola Virus Disease. Women served in ETUs and at the borders, she noted.
“With support from partners we are now able to create awareness among women in the various counties that while executing our duties some of us could become victims of the deadly Ebola virus.”