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US, EU unhappy with gov’t

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Several international partners including the United States Embassy, Embassy of Sweden and the European Union Delegation to Liberia have expressed serious anger over the prolonged delay by the government here to pass laws against gender – based violence and female genital mutilation.

The US Embassy, EU Delegation to Liberia and Plan International, International Commission on Human Rights (INCHR), International Rescue Committee (IRC) have been working with the Government of Liberia to end gender – based violence and female genital mutilation.

But they expressed their anger during a program marking the International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) held at the Monrovia City Hall on 6 February on the Theme: “End Female Genital Mutilation”.

But they expressed their anger during a program marking the International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) held at the Monrovia City Hall on 6 February on the Theme: “End Female Genital Mutilation”.

Delivering the United Nations Secretary General’s Message in observance of the day, UN Resident Coordinator to Liberia, Mr. Yacoub El-Hillo said that female genital mutilation is an abhorrent human rights violation.

He says this act affects women and girls around the world and denies them their dignity, endangers their health and causes needless pain and suffering, even death.
The UN envoy discloses that FGM is rooted in gender inequalities and power imbalances, adding that it sustains them by limiting opportunities for girls and women to realize their rights and full potential.

Mr. El-Hillo indicates that an estimated 200 million women and girls alive today have been subject to this harmful practice, and that every year, almost 4 million girls are at risk.

According to Mr. El-Hillo, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) call for the elimination of female genital mutilation by 2030.

He notes that the UN joins hands with global, regional and national actors in supporting holistic and integrated initiatives to achieve this objective.

According to him, tackling FGM is also a central part of efforts in the spotlight initiative, launched in partnership with the European Union to end all forms of violence against women and girls.

He notes that with strong political commitment, they are seeing positive change in several countries.

However, Mr. El-Hillo says if current trends persist, these advances will continue to be outpaced by rapid population growth where the practice is concentrated.

He calls for increased, concerted and global action to end FGM and fully uphold the human rights of all women and girls.

For their part, IRC Country Director Madam Faith Alcovi Cooper; Sweden Ambassador to Liberia Madam Ingrid Wetterqvist; Plan International Country Director Madam Evelyn Moorehead, and the President of the National Civil Society Madam Francis Greaves have also expressed similar views.

They demand government to act quickly in passing the Domestic Violence Laws to end the nightmare of women and girls in Liberia.

Meanwhile, the both Chairs on Gender at the Liberian Senate and the House of Representative were never represented during the celebration and no reason was announced or their absence.

-Over delay to pass Domestic Violence Law

By Emmanuel Mondaye –Edited by Winston W. Parley

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