Gender and partners host women and girls
The Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection and with support from Partners has launched a three-day National Young Women and Girls Conference in Sinje, Grand Cape Mount County, aimed at addressing challenges confronting young women and girls in Liberia.
According to a press release, the conference which began on Wednesday, July 27, is a yearly program designed by the Ministry and partners to provide young women and girls a platform to discuss issues affecting them and find remedies.
This year’s conference is tagged, “Elevating the minds and sights of Young Women and Girls for a brighter Future.”
Education and Leadership Development, Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights, and Cultural and Traditional Practices are thematic areas under discussion by the girls.
In 2016 the Liberian Girls in partnership with the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection, and National Stakeholders developed an implementation strategy that highlights interventions to be implemented for Liberian girls.
Speaking at the indoor opening session on Thursday, July 28, 2022, Deputy Gender Minister Alice Johnson Howard emphasized that this year’s event objectives are to elevate the minds and sights of 200 young women, boys, and girls between the ages of 10-24 years from across all15 counties.
She stressed that the conference will hold a panel discussion with different stakeholders on issues affecting young women, girls, and boys, to break common stereotypes and enhance female participation in discussion and also have males serving as advocates and supporting girls in their quest.
In a special statement, Madam Ina Williams Christensen, National Child Protection Officer, UNICEF-Liberia delivered a written statement on behalf of UNICEF Country Representative Laila O. Gad.
The statement quoted Liberia’s Demographic Health Survey (2019-2020) report which asserts that 60% of women have ever experienced physical violence since the age of 15.
“Despite a slight reduction of 1%, teenage pregnancy rate stands at 30% and is still of concern in Liberia while access to sexual and reproductive health information and services is low. Girls, in particular, are affected by harmful traditional practices, especially early marriage and female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C)”. The report noted.
“There are also inequitable gender norms that create barriers to girls’ social and economic advancement. The above tells us the extent to which we must use our collective efforts including adolescent girls and young women themselves strategically to create pathways through which girls and young women can thrive, survive and live their full potential. One way to do this is to create the enabling environment and platforms where young people can be equipped with the knowledge, skills, and capacity to stand up for their rights and protect themselves against the vices facing them”. The Country Rep statement expressed. Press release