-As Orange Celebrates ‘Orange Day’
By Esau J. Farr
UN Women along with other partners of the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection (MOGCSP) has intensified the fight against Sexual and Gender Based Violence in Liberia.
The commitment was made Monday on the Fendall Campus of the University of Liberia during program marking the observance of ‘Orange Day’ organized by Orange Liberia GSM in collaboration with her partners. It was held under the theme, ‘Orange Day, Leave No One Behind’.
Making a brief remark, UN Women Country Representative to Liberia, Ms. Marie-Goreth Nigizigama said for so long men in the world, especially Africa feel very superior to their female counterparts something she said must stop because it does not have space in this 21st Century.
The UN Women Country Representative to Liberia encouraged all men to shift their thinking about women by putting an end to all forms of SGBV both at home and in the public sphere.
Also speaking at the program, Swedish Ambassador to Liberia, Ms. Ingrid Wetterqvist, described SGBV as a global problem and while attributing it to men whole bear the greater responsibility.
“Sexual and Gender Based Violence is a global problem and it is men problem all over the world”, the Swedish Ambassador asserted.
She recounted that research and reports from different rights institutions have reported or revealed that it takes place both in the home and work places something she believes should also stop.
She expressed joy over the participation of students of the University of Liberia whom she said were the necessary target audience for the awareness.
Ms. Wetterqvist then used the opportunity and called on participants, especially students of the University of Liberia to carry out awareness against SGBV in Liberia on a daily basis which she sees as the surest way to discourage men and boys who are found addicted to the act and desist.
She furthered that statistics have shown that at least 44% of women worldwide experience some form of gender-based violence and that one out of three women experience gender-based violence in their lifetime.
She however pointed out that not all men are bad, adding that the few good men should also join efforts in helping to reduce SGBV in Liberia.
Madam Wetterqvist also used the occasion and thanked President George M. Weah for support shown when he recently addressed the European Union Submit Day in Brussels, Russia.
The program which ended with a panel discussion on challenges, way forward and experience sharing on SGBV in Liberia, also witnessed documentary highlighting victims of SGBV in Liberia, all of whom are women and children.
The video revealed how scores of women in Liberia have been and are still being mal-handled by their male counterparts especially with acid attacks leading to blindness while the victims are made to become labilities and societal burden in a third world country like Liberia.
Also speaking at the program, University of Liberia President, Dr. Ophelia I. Weeks, lamented that violence against women is widespread and described it as bad for any given society.
Madam Weeks pledged her administration’s fullest support to protecting the rights of women and free them from sexual harassments as well as SGBV in school no matter where and by whom it is practiced.