UN WOMEN Trained Correction Officers Towards Gender Responsive Justice System

Alexander Musa (Grand Bassa County Correspondent)
The United Nations Women (UN Women) has trained 60 prisons officials towards a Gender Responsive Justice System.
According to the training officer from UN Women madam Susan Koker, the training was organized after they have observed that the treatment of inmates at prison centers around the country was not ‘too good’.
Madam Koker alleged that correction officers have been a bit of a problem with what she describes as ‘Gender Sensitivity’ when it comes to providing services to inmates.
“We have come to make sure that the officers who have come from Margibi, Rivercess and Grand Bassa Counties are aware of the needs of women while they are serving their sentences and to also know how to provide basic needs for female inmates while they are in prisons,” Madam Koker expressed.
The training officer said UN Women have started the training in Liberia in making sure that gender is mainstreamed into the correction centers in Liberia, how they can treat both men and women.
She explained they have realized in the past when women go to prisons their needs are not met and women are special kind of people and should be treated with respect.
“Most of the time people do plans without taking into consideration the needs of women, women coming into prisons with babies, pregnant women coming to jail and women seeing their menstrual period in prisons. But very often plans are made without considering those things involved for which we have come to talk to our officers when they are doing their planning, budgeting and at every stage of a program in the prisons the needs of women should be taken into consideration,” Mrs. Koker added.
Madam Koker used the opportunity and cautioned the officers in attendance to put in place some measures of gender sensitive and be able to identify the needs of women, counseling and support and recognize those who need support and correct some of their officers who may not be doing the right thing to female inmates.
Also speaking at the gathering was Edwin Foday McGill, Director of correction officers who alleged that women have been marginalized in Liberia in the past, so UN Women has seen it prudent to train prison officials in the 15 counties of Liberia to now know that being in prisons does not mean “your rights should be abused.”
For their parts, officer Weekie Bokpah of Grand Bassa County and Superintendent Sadu B.I koyateh of Rivercess Prison centers lauded UN Women for the training and promised to impact other officers upon their return to their respective localities.
They said the issue of Gender sensitivity will be considered by them and will work with those in higher authority in providing requisite services to inmates especially female inmates

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