-Declares Fmr. Nimba County Senator; As 16 Days Of Activism Against SGBV Is Climaxed
Women and girls attending a program organized by Aiding Disadvantaged and Traumatized Women and Girls, (ADWANGA), a local nongovernmental organization committed to dignifying women and girls in Tappita District have been encouraged to stand up and speak against Sexual Gender Based Violence (SGBV), if they are to win the fight in eliminating SGBV and other forms of domestic violence meted against women and girls in that part of the country.
The message was contained in a speech delivered at the close of the sixteen (16) Days of Activism againstGender Based Violence, SGBV in Tappita on December 10, 2019.
Speaking to women and girls including students and other local leaders at the Tappita civil compound, former Nimba County Senator Madam Margret Gonkarwon said “it is about time that the women take the matter into their own hands and avoid compromising violence being perpetrated against women and girls, especially innocent children”.
She said many parents have made stigmatization as a key reason why they are not bold to take sexual violence as rape to police or the court.
Madam Margret who referred to men engaged in the act as “wicked men” noted that compromising rape and other gender based violence is not the way “we can end the vice in our Liberian society”. “If we don’t talk about this thing because perpetrators are our own relatives then tell me how we can fight it. “If your cousin or uncle loves your child they will not rape her or abuse her”. Madam Gonkarwon lamented.
She wants government to prescribe ‘tougher punishment’ for perpetrators of Sexual Gender Based Violence rather than just life time imprisonment.
Meanwhile, the women have vowed to exert all efforts in ensuring that this act can be curtailed or minimized.
“Women if any of us here child is raped or abused in any form and manner, stand up and advocate for that person who committed such act to be brought to justice. Even if it means we should individually raise money we can do that”. The keynote speaker asserted.
Aiding Disadvantaged and Traumatized Women and Girls, ADWANGA, was established in 2005 after the civil war to cater for mainly teenage girls in Liberia after survey showed that many teenage girls were becoming victim of Sexual Exploitation and Abuse (SEA).
Since then it has helped to raise the standard of young girls and taken them from vulnerability to income generators. The organization has sponsored and continues to sponsor more disadvantaged and traumatized women and girls in both vocations and academics in more than seven schools in Ganta and Tappita.
The sixteen days of Activism has been a way of providing much awareness on sexual Gender Based Violence since 1991.
Since then the climax usually coincides with the observance of the International Day of Human Right signed by the United Nations in 1948.By Fred Yeegbeh, Lower Nimba.TNR