Violence against women and girls must stop: message from Liberia at launch of 16 Days of activism
The campaign of 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence was launched at the SKD Gymnasium on 26 November 2012 under the theme ‘From Peace in the Home to Peace in the Nation, Let justice prevail to end violence against women and children’.
“No Human development goal can be achieved as long as women and girls continue to suffer from violence or live in fear of it” said Esperance Fundira, Acting UN Resident Coordinator and Representative of UNFPA in Liberia.
Echoing these sentiments, U.S. Ambassador Deborah R. Malac said countries that provide opportunities for women and girls are doing well while the contrary is true for countries that violate the rights women and children.
The campaign was officially launched by Rev. Keturah York Cooper, Executive Director of Hope Incorporated Empowerment Temple who asked the over 600 audience to pledge to fight and end violence against women and children.
The Ministry of Gender and Development indicated that this year’s organizing framework in Liberia is to call for the elimination of all forms of violence against women and children by raising awareness, strengthening local networks, providing a forum for dialogue and demanding that the government implement its commitments to fight violence against women and children.
‘Don’t do Man and women business to Me, I am a Child’ and Papa and Mama, rape is not a family matter, report it! These were some of the messages being promoted on posters and in videos at the launch, indicated this year’s advocacy focus on issues of prevention of child rape in particular.
The advocacy activities which began with a press conference at the MoGD and religious service at a Mosque on 23 November 2012 and church service on 25 November will continue with nationwide community sensitization activities in various communities identified by members of the SGBV task force.
The 16days of activism will continue to be celebrated until 10 December, International Human rights day in order to symbolically link violence against women and human rights and to emphasize that such violence is a violation of all our rights.
The various days to be commemorated include International Women Human Rights Day 29 Nov, World AIDS day Dec 1, Anniversary of the Montreal Massacre on 6 Dec and International Human rights Day on 10 December.
The event has been celebrated in Liberia since 2001, under the auspices of the Ministry of Gender and Development with various activities throughout the 15 counties in Liberia.