Grand Bassa County Gender Coordinator Madam Nattie Doepoe says statistics have shown that more needs to be done to succeed in the fight against sexual gender based violence in Grand Bassa County.
Madam Doepoe told reporters recently that her office continues to work with other stakeholders to ensure a significant reduction in sexual gender based violence cases, but observes that more needs to be done.
According to Madam Doepoe, from January to July 2018 alone, there have been a total of 41 cases reported, out of which five are rape cases. She says other cases are domestic violence and persistent non-support cases.
As part of efforts to reduce Sexual Gender Based Violence (SGBV), the Gender Coordinator reveals that there have been school gender clubs set up in 16 public schools to create awareness.
According to her, the awareness on campuses in the county is aiding her work greatly because members of the clubs are engaged in regular campus sensitization about issues involving SGBV and dangers associated with them.
She notes that for the past 12 years, her office has made significant strides with the help of the clubs in fighting SGBV issues across Grand Bassa County. Despite these efforts, she says the lack of a save home in the county to cater to survivors is a serious challenge in the fight against SGBV cases.
Madam Dopoe underscores the need for the reopening of the save home in Bassa, though she says [Gender] Ministry is doing everything possible to ensure this is done.
For her part, Bassa Women Development Association Chairlady Martha F. Karnga says the main focus of her group is to build the capacity of the women in Grand Bassa County to speak out against issues affecting them in the society.
Madam Karnga notes that though Association does not have leadership in the various districts of the county, it has succeeded over the years due to collaboration with other organizations which share similar vision about issues affecting women.
According to Madam Karnga, violence against women is not only about rape, persistent non – support and domestic violence, but denial to own land as well as allowing women to play leadership role and participation in decision making at all levels.
“You men need to sit and really concentrate about some of the treatment you give women and put yourselves in their shoes if it were you who were being treated in such manner,” she says.
Madam Karnga urges men to women if Liberia must succeed in fighting violence against women in all forms. Also speaking Ma Klubo Tutay, a business woman in Buchanan General Market frowned on men who are in the habit of beating on women, abandoning their responsibilities and raping women and girls.
“We don’t know why men have become very wicked to us despite all the cares for them,” Madam Tutay says. Also adding her voice 45 – year- old Rebecca S. King called on the Government of Liberia to make stronger laws on violence against women and girls that will serve as deterrence to would be violators.
She says one way to make progress in fighting sexual gender based violence is for women in Liberia to desist from compromising cases of SGBV. She challenges women to stand up and compete with their male counterparts, adding that what men do, women can do the same and even better. She says she does not have a husband, but she is doing her business and catering to her children.
By Bridgett Milton & George K. Momo–Edited by Winston W. Parley