22 January 2013

Liberia: Women Are Not Sex Objects - Women Aid Asserts

The Executive Director of the Women Aid Incorporated has indicated to men across all spectrum of life not to regard women as objects of sex, as if they don't have any other role to play in the organization, structuring and function of the family or the state.

Madam Sallimatu Kamara made the statement at a sensitization awareness workshop for students of the NV Massaquoi Elementary School in West Point, during which she spoke on the danger of rape as it breeds fistula.

Madam Kamara told the gathering dominated by students that fistula, like any other infections, can destroy young people, especially adolescent girls who are considered as stewards for rape.
She said the more the advocacy and intervention against rape, the more the act is perpetrated by others who are either committing the crime for ritual.

"A minor wearing short skirt or dress does not any one the right to rape; committing the act against child or grown up is called statutory rape which is forceful penetration", the Executive Director added.

Besides rape which is topical in today's society, she said sodomy was another menace that is not only leaves scars on young boys and girls but traumatizes and undermine the growth and development of the children.

She used the occasion to call on parents to not only monitor the children but to live exemplary life.
In a remark, the Secretary of the Women Group of West Point Martha Soplay said there is a culture of compromising cases of rape, abandonment and gender-based violence in the community.

She added that with the intervention of the Wahala discussion group that is providing weekly counseling the cases of rape, abandonment and GBV has dramatically decreased in the West Point community though there still remain some challenges.
The Bureau of Immigration and Naturalization Deputy Commander for West Point Sergeant Fatuma Lomax struck a point that abandonment is a recipe for rape. "Parents should nurture the children and provide basic knowledge to guide and protect the children at all times".

She said that it was shocking to have discovered that a boy had been having sex with his sister for a little over two years on Front Street and later taken to what they referred to as safe home.

"I was shocked to have heard that he induced his sister with drug infested kanyan, both of whom had lived together for that period", she added.

The BIN Sergeant called on the government to increase sensitization and awareness, because according to her, Lofa County where she hailed has many rape cases that are sometimes compromised.

"Parent that sleeps with children in the same room are to do everything they have to do before the kids come to bed because children learn from their parents", she noted.

Lisa White, Senior Radio Producer at UNMIL radio lauded the students, parents and the school authority for their participation.
She said to the students: "paying attention teaches you to learn your lessons and helps you to stay out of trouble; use the information to keep you safe and pay attention to the voice inside you".

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