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Gender Coordinator warns against compromising rape cases

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Amidst street protests in Monrovia against widespread rape cases here, the newly appointed Gender Coordinator of Maryland County, southeast Liberia warns parents against compromising rape cases in their homes, villages, towns and communities.

Ms. Natharline Whea made the call during a thanksgiving and welcome ceremony held this week in her honor for her preferment as the Gender Coordinator for the county.

The reception was held at the Catholic Parish Hall in Pleebo, Maryland County Electoral district #2, graced by local officials, including the president of the Cross Border Trade Women Association Frances Dialled, religion leaders, Civil Society Organizations, political leaders, local government officials, women and children groups, among others. The Catholic Priest, Rev. Father Ernest Winser offers prayers for Ms Whea during the thanksgiving service.

“I am happy today and pleased to offer a special prayer with you Ms Whea, please do your best to put the women of Maryland County on the Map of Liberia. I therefore pray that the Almighty God protects you, comforts you and directs you in all your activities”, Father Winser intercedes.

In remarks, Ms Whea lauds women of Maryland County, including the entire congregation at the Catholic Church for the trust accorded her in her new post.

The gender coordinator notes that although she appreciates citizens, specifically women of the county, but she will be more resistant to acts bent on compromising rape cases either by parents or family members of victims, because it will undermine the good image of her work and also damage future of women and girls across Liberia.

She underscores that if the crime should be curtailed, parents or family members must report rape cases to the Ministry of Gender or to relevant authorities in the county. She vows to make a change in gender issues confronting women across Maryland County and Liberia at large, rallying women to support her vision.

“Let me say to you today, let backward be backward and forward be forever, Let God be the glory for my life, and the lives of all women in Maryland County and Liberia .”

Ms. Whea: “My people and good women of Maryland County, one of the things that I will totally speak strongly against in my administration is rape; it shouldn’t be compromised in our county and country.” She further vows to work positively along with women groups across the county to make rape a public enemy.

The County Gender Coordinator’s pledge comes at a time when rape has become a pandemic in Liberia with an 11-year-old girl sexually abused by a 38-year-old man in Maryland County.

Also commenting, the national president of the Association of Women in Cross Border Trade in Liberia, Frances Dialled says her organization will work closely with the gender coordinator to improve women’s wellbeing.

Another women advocate Ms Phelicia Towalid similarly calls on women across the county to join hands with the newly appointed gender coordinator to fight rape in Liberia.

By Patrick N. Mensah, Maryland–Editing by Jonathan Browne

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