The Liberian Sexual and Gender Base Violence Group has described as reckless, shocking and disturbing to see senior government officials slapping the bottom of entertainers at a public gathering.
In a press statement issue in Monrovia, the group specifically referenced Montserrado County Representative Thomas Fallah and Finance Minister Samuel Tweah, who were allegedly seeing publicly in such acts.
“It was shocking and disturbing to see Representative Thomas Fallah get up and slap the bottom of one of the women dancers. As with the herd mentality, Minister Samuel Tweah quickly followed suit and added his palm print to that of the Representative.” The group noted.
The SGBV/GBV group notes that the incident happened on Thursday, June 18, 2020, when community members and government officials gathered to commemorate the continuation of the program marking the Official Groundbreaking for the Reconstruction of Homes for Doe Community – Gbehkugbeh Avenue.
The advocacy group said, “Whether or not the woman gave consent is not the issue here. Given the high increase of sexual violence and degrading attitudes in the country, we expect our government officials to exhibit a higher standard and model behavior that is respectful and empowering of everyone.”
It emphasized that Chief of Protocol, Ambassador Jervis Witherspoon, should have also made the officials aware of proper decorum and protocol as many officials seem to be oblivious to the perception that this kind of behavior carries.
The release continued that if Liberian officials behaved in such manner, what then can be expected of ordinary citizens the questioned. “Would this have been acceptable if officials from other countries were present? Would they have done this to wives, sisters, or relatives of those closest to them?”
The group urged leaders to be respectful and teach their kids good moral conducts, respect women, exercise restraint, and keep their hands to themselves. “Chauvinistic and sexual behavior should not spill on to our national platform. We reiterate, lead by example and let those examples be ones that can be emulated for the upliftment of the country.” Press Release