YWCA Sec/G Advises School Administrators, Professors

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Madam Roseline Toweh, Secretary-General and executive director of the Young Women’s Christian Association of Liberia (YWCA), has called on school administrators and professors of the various universities in the country to stop what she termed as, “sex for grades, and other forms of harassment.”

She made the call recently at the official launch of ActionAid Liberia (AAL) Safe Cities for Women and Girls campaign held at the Paynesville Town Hall outside Monrovia.
ActionAid Safe Cities for Women and Girls campaign is aim to tackle the causes of violence against women in urban and public communities and the relationship between poor or inadequate public services.

The YWCA S/G disclosed that the issue of transactional sex is creating serious problems for the future of Liberia in terms of impacting quality education to the students, especially the females, adding that due to the constant habits of instructors reportedly engaging in illicit “sex for grades,” is creating terrible and unsafe environment for women and girls.
She asserted that instructors at the various institutions of learning were reportedly using the indecent dressing of women and girls as causes of rape and sexual harassment.
She said trading grades in exchange for sex has negative immediate and future impact on education and job opportunities.

She observed that the ability to manage with work could be very challenging, while access to job opportunities could be limited.
She warned teachers and lecturers in the habit of exchanging passing grades for sex with students to desist and help promote safe cities for women and girls in the country.
“It is time for everyone to join this fight, because if there is no action taken, our children will never have a safe environment at schools and work places.”

Therefore, she suggested that the awareness be spread to the rural and urban places in the country as a means of creating massive awareness of the danger associated to transactional sex.

Meanwhile, as efforts to tackle violence against women and girls in the country, AAL presented a letter of request to Gender Minister, Julia Duncan Cassell, calling on the governments and service providers to promote gender responsive public services at local and national level.

According to Madam Toweh, government needs to analyze the provision of public services from a gender perspective to address the practical and strategic need of women and promote gender responsive public services (GRPS).
The letter also requested that at International level, governments must maintain a standalone target on violence against women and girls in public and private spaces in the Sustainable Development Goals with a follow-up commitment and plan of action on violence against women and girls in cities.

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