Women Vow to End Sexual Violence

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Ten women’s organizations in Liberia have vowed to rally together to fight vicious acts against women.

The women reached the position at their 3rd Consultative Meeting held at a local resort in Monrovia.

The groups included Kvinna Till Kvinna, ActionAid Liberia, Women against Aids, Female Lawyers’ Association of Liberia, and West Point Women’s Group.
The women recognized their potential to transform the Liberian society, but acknowledged that they must start by changing conditions that affect them collectively if they are to succeed.

They aim to serve as pressure groups to seek national consciousness against Sexual Gender Based Violence (SGBV) in the country.

The consultative meeting held under the theme, ‘Strategies to Unite Women,’ was the initiative of Kvinna till Kvinna (KtK) Foundation and the Office of UNMIL Gender Advisor. Madam Rie Lukowski, head of KtK Liberia office, called on Liberian women to work collectively as sisters to address their common concerns.
She said when women are united many great things can happen “because they have the potential to impact their country.”

Madam Lukowski advised Liberian women not to discriminate against each other because they have common issues that can only be solved collectively, therefore they should unite to fight against SGBV and rape in the country.

Veteran women’s rights advocate, Madam Mary Brownell, called on Liberian women to unite so that they can make positive impacts in society.

Mother Brownell, who gave a presentation on “What it takes to be united,” said in order for Liberian women to be successful in such an endeavor they need to “hold together,” irrespective of their educational, religious, social or political backgrounds.

“We need to love each other if we are to fight for such a common purpose. We should not be the ones to be pulling each other down,” she said.

Madam Brownell said “violence is too much” in the country and women who are the direct victims must take the lead to bring it to an end.

A representative from UN Women said the unity that Liberian women are seeking should be in the form of a movement.

“For a movement to begin there might be a rallying point, and I strongly believe that the level of violence against us, especially our little children, is a cause for concern,” she said.

“When we unite we can do more, and we must work hard to end violence against us.”

A concept note for uniting women in Liberia was presented by the head of an ad-hoc committee, Teplah Reeves.

Several individuals, including UNMIL OIC of Gender, James M. Muriithi, United Methodist University Social Work Department Chairman, Sam Slewion, and others, made presentations on advocacy, values and unity.

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