Monrovia — The head of the Lutheran Church in Liberia, the Rt. Rev. Dr. G. Victor Padmore has rally Liberia and the world to for a united front to combat sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV).
Bishop Padmore, in a special statement at the start of the 16 Days of Activism said violence against women is a global problem and it requires global action.
He said calls for action like the 16 days of Activism are crucial because they shine a spotlight on the issue of violence against women. They are a moment to create public awareness about what needs to change to prevent it from happening in the first place at local, national, regional, and international levels, he said.
Sexual and Gender Based Violence continues to be a major challenge for Liberia’s recovery after 14 years of war that ended in 2003. For many Liberians women and girls, the appalling violence they experienced during wartime still occurs. Early marriage, rape, offensive touching (sexual assault), forced prostitution, wife inheritance and forced servitude are the main types of sexual and gender-based violence perpetrated in the communities.
To end violence against women, Bishop Padmore emphasized the need to challenge the attitudes that perpetuate, rationalize, and normalize that violence, and deny women’s right to safety. He said men are overwhelmingly the perpetrators of gender-based violence, and to see violence truly eliminated, the attitudes of men need to change.
He acknowledged that shifting these behaviors is “hard and slow”, but gender equity means all of us working with all genders is the only way to see true change and endeavor for collective achievement in this fight.
He named domestic violence, especially denial of resources, persistent non-support, abandonment of families by the sole provider of that family, child abuse and sexual abuse by parents and guardians are some of the reasons for the rise in child prostitution, teenage pregnancy, and other social exclusions.
Lutheran Church’s intervention
In his statement Bishop Padmore mentioned that the Lutheran Church in Liberia through its Gender Justice Project has uncovered that these forms of violence which have received little or no concrete remedy are gravely contributing factors currently eating up the Liberian Society and gradually destroying the future of its young generation.
He said: “Seeing all of what is happening in our country, the Lutheran Church in Liberia through its Gender Justice project is working with women and girls who are survivors of SGBV cases including sexual harassment, whether in homes, educational and religious settings and formal workplaces, including private and public areas. The project also works with communities in helping to report cases to the relevant authority.”
As Liberia joins the rest of the world in observing the 16 Days of Activism, the head of the Lutheran Church in Liberia called upon every Liberian and resident to unite in their collective responsibility and resources to eradicate gender-based violence.
He expressed hope that the incoming government will seriously prioritize the well-being of women and girls, especially the rights of all citizens, fostering an environment where every individual can live free from fear and discrimination.
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Publish date : 2023-12-01 15:19:06