British Envoy Urges Incoming Boakai Administration

As women in Liberia join other women the world over in commemorating the 16 Days of Activism, the Government of Great Britain has urged the incoming administration of President-elect, Joseph Nyumah Boakai to prioritize the rights of women.

Speaking over the weekend at program marking the climax of the 16 Days of Activism organized by the West Point Women for Health and Development Organization (WPWHDO) to promote girls’ quality education for gender equality and awareness raising around the 16 Days of Activism, Madam Kate Thompson, Charge D’ Affaires of the British Embassy near Monrovia called on the incoming Boakai administration to put women’s rights at the forefront of his administration.  

Kate Thompson acknowledged the fact that Liberian women are underrepresented in national politics with only ten percent women representation in parliament which she said is very low. She called on the incoming government to put enact a law granting at least 30 percent women representation in the Legislature.

The British envoy noted that when women are adequately represented in Parliament, there will be justice for women and girls who are being raped and sexually abused and will also reduce the level of sexual and gender-based violence being meted against women.

Madam Thompson added that the government must stand up for the rights of women by creating a safe environment for women to seek and have justice at all times. She said when men become more powerful in the society; thatsociety is likely to go to war or may engage in conflict. Kate added that women want to live in a prosperous and peaceful environment like their male counterparts.

She disclosed that as the celebration of the 16 Days of Activism climaxes, there are some horrible statistics and horrible things going on around the world citing examples of the situation in the West, the Middle East conflict, the situation in Israel, Sudan and other parts of the world where violence against women is prevalence.

She said in the United Kingdom, about nine percent of women suffer sexualbased violence. Kate said there are horrible instances in the UK where girls and women’s rights are being abused. She quoted statistics from the2020 Demography and Health Survey that over 60 percent of women from age 15-49 in Liberia have suffered some form of physical and sexual violence. Kate Thompson quoting the statistics noted that 72 percent of Liberian women have been subjected to female genital mutilation (FGM) mostly in the rural parts of Liberia which is violence against women.    

The Charge D’ Affaires at the British Embassy lauded WPWHDO for its many efforts in ensuring that girls’ voices are being heard through its empowerment programs. “I’m moved by the stories of these girls because Liberian women and girls have great quality and potential and if girls are given the opportunity to be educated, they will make meaningful contributions to the society,” Kate Thompson said.

She added that violence against women is being perpetrated in every part of the world giving statistics of her own country and other countries around the world. Kate Thompson said there are various forms of violence being meted against women including rape, sexual assaults, gender-based violence, and domestic violence among others which women and girls continue to suffer across the world. She added, “99% of women around the world suffer horrible violence including Liberia.

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