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Sen. Taylor calls for civil disobedience

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Bong County Senator Jewel Howard Taylor has call for a civil disobedience to help speed up the passage of an affirmative action bill here. Mrs. Taylor, the estranged wife of jailed ex- President Charles Taylor told an audience mostly women during the program marking the official launching of 16 days activism against gender violence here that it was time that those interested in the passage of gender bill stage a sit in at the Capitol, according to her that would trigger Legislative action for the passage of gender bill.

“I will like to recommend Madam Minister that those of us that are interested in the gender bill and the other things that are important for women enhancement. Maybe we need to go stage a sit – in. we can’t keep sitting and saying oh they will do it. Something [has] to trigger them into doing it,” Sen. Taylor said Wednesday, 23 November, while launching a 16 – day activism against gender violence.

Sen. Taylor made the call briefly after President Ellen Johnson – Sirleaf had launched the 16 days activism against gender violence at the Gender Ministry and departed. President Sirleaf had earlier called on every citizen including traditional leaders at the event to join the fight against violence ina practical way by going back into their communities, schools,associations and churches to speak out against it.

“Small girls in the street, when you see them tell them no, tell their mothers no don’t sent the small children out to sell because you put them in danger of being raped,” President Sirleaf said and pledged government’s support in the fight.

At the event, a girl who alleged that her fiancé Coleman Sackie allegedly wasted acid on her face and other body parts in the Bernard Farm Community of Montserrado County in 2013, Ms. Karpo Jaimah made public appeal for help to better her current condition.

Victim Karpo said before suspect Sackie attacked her, they had a kid who is now seven years old, but she claimed that the suspect is yet to be brought to justice. However, Sen. Taylor said there were many gaps in the fight against sexual gender – based violence, complaining that after talking with male counterparts at the Legislature over the passage of the Domestic Violence Law, it was surprising that “the only issue they wereinterested in was the FGM [female genital mutilation]”.

Sen. Taylor suggested that fighting against gender – based violence may require going back into the homes to know how are children being trained and what kind of messages they are getting regarding peace and crisis, and whether young people are being taught that disagreement is encouraged but the views of others must be respected in the process.

She said there are many people stuck with domestic violence, wondering over the kind of homes that perpetrators are grown in “that some feel they can do something so terrible to someone else” … just based on jealousy or speculation.

She recommended to Gender Minister Madam Julia Duncan Cassell that something must be done at the level of the family and the local level as well. To date, Liberia’s Gender Minister Julia Duncan Cassell says the general statistics of gender – based violence cases in the country still shows that there are serious challenges.

She says the statistic shows a relatively low upward trend, noting that from January to August, 2016 a total of 931 gender based violence cases were reported, 610 of which she said were rape cases.

Compared to January to September 2015, she said there were a total of1,088 gender based violence cases reported nationwide of which 588were rape cases. Between January and December 2014 at the peak of the Ebola epidemic in Liberia, Minister Cassell said women and children were still being violated, referencing a total of 1,392 gender based violence cases to have been reported. Of this number, she said rape accounted for 682cases.

“As we strive to reduce the numbers of rape and GBV cases, it has come to the attention of the Ministry the recent rape case involving the President of the Liberian Student Union-LINSU- Varney Jersey and a 15-year-old girl. It is sadden that the Student Union [President] who should help us fight rape and other forms of violence against women is now considered perpetrator. We are eagerly pursuing this case to ensure that justice prevails,” Minister Cassell said.

By Winston W. Parley-Edited by Othello B. Garblah

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