Vice President Jewel Howard-Taylor, has indicated that inequality would continue to exist in the absence of collective actions to address acts of violence against women and girls while stressing the imperative of protecting their human rights.
“I think all would agree with me that there has been some progress but not fast enough or in a coordinated manner to collectively achieve our goal, VP Howard-Taylor said, noting that “Ending rape and other harmful practices against women and girls, prosecuting these crimes at a high rate and providing the level of support for the survivors requires each of us in this room to stand up, fight and take action”.
According to the Liberian Vice President, the Liberian civil conflict exacerbated the issue of Sexual and Gender-Based Violence, particularly pointing out that rape was widely prevalent during the war.
VP Howard-Taylor observed that,: “Many persons live today with those mental and in some cases physical effects of the malaise SGBV in Liberia takes on many forms such as rape, child marriage, offensive touching, wife beating, denial of resources, acid attacks as well as the subtler and hidden forms of violence and Female Genital Mutilation (FGM)”.
The comments of the first Liberian female Vice President according to a Press Release from the office of the Vice President, were contained in the keynote address delivered on her behalf by the Senior Policy Specialist, Anthony Kesselly on Monday, November 4, 2019, at the National Colloquium on SGBV Prevention and Response in Liberia held at the Monrovia City Hall.
While welcoming the efforts of partners to tackle this menace, Mr. Kesselly disclosed that Sexual and Gender Based Violence is one of the most pervasive and devastating human rights violations in our world today.
He indicated that based on data and statistics collected around the world, the VP finds it evident that it affects mainly women and girls and limits their potential and full enjoyment of their human rights.
Senior Policy Specialist Kesselly quoted the Vice President as stressing that Liberia must tackle this issue in order to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, especially Goal 5 which targets, achieving gender equality and empower all women and girls.
While acknowledging that the National Budget does not capture fully the resource envelop needed to address this problem, without proper resources, he quoted VP Howard-Taylor as noting, it is difficult to make or sustain progress.
He conveyed the Vice President’s to call on Legislators to support the Ministry of Gender by being the Ministry’s champions in the next budgeting process to expand allocation beyond regular administrative cost.