By Jamesetta D. Williams (Intern)
MONROVIA-A group of women in Margibi County who claimed to be working for the Salala Rubber Corporation (SRC) have decried what they called the level of sexual harassment at the concession company’s area of operation.
The women also disclosed that despite working for the company for many months, SRC has vehemently refused to pay them their just salaries but some workers at the company are demanding sexual intercourse from them (female workers) before getting their pay.
According to the women who staged a protest yesterday in Monrovia in demand of their salaries and the sexual harassment being meted against them, SRC continues to make life difficult and miserable for women working for the company in Margibi County.
They alleged that SRC took their ancestors’ land for its operations thus leaving them with nothing but continuous suffering and humiliation. “We’ve been working for SRC for the past six months but the company refused to pay us but some of their heads are demanding sex from us (females) before being paid,” Comfort Graham, a female worker at SRC lamented.
According to Madam Graham, SRC has vehemently refused to pay them the amount of US$140 as salary for each worker but what is ongoing at the company is continuous abuse by their bosses.
Madam Graham directly accused Francis David, a Liberian head of SRC of continually demanding sex from the women in exchange for their payment. Narrating her ordeal, Madam Graham added, “I refused to submit to his demand and because of that I was dismissed by the company,” she said.
She further alleged that they have been stopped by SRC from farming on their land adding, “Whenever we try farming on the land the company will stop us from going on the land. They took over our land and give us nothing.”
Another protester, Sara Moore disclosed during the protest at the Nigeria House in Monrovia yesterday this is the second time they have assembled in Monrovia to call the government’s attention concerning the land issue. She said the land issue has lasted for over fifteen years something the county Superintendent is also involved in making sure that the land issue is amicably settled.
Comfort Graham disclosed that they came to Monrovia to protest against the activities of SRC through the intervention of a women’s organization known as the Women Do Something Natural Women Platform (WDSNWP).
According to her, WDNSNWP has been a great help to them by highlighting the level of suffering, difficulties, and sexual harassment they continue to face at the hands of some heads of SRC. She added that the organization has donated cash to them for selling and other businesses as a means of empowering them.
According to Graham, as a means of fighting for the rights of women, the organization took the company to court and promised to fight the case to its logical conclusion. She said WDNSNWP has been in the vanguard in ensuring that the land is given back to the people of Salala. She called on the Liberian Government to join the women’s organization in seeking justice for them.