Liberia: Oxfam Sponsors Advocates for Women's Right

21 November 2019
press release

Oxfam in Liberia and the global Enough Campaign delight in sharing the experiences of five partners drawn from women's rights groups in Liberia who participated in regional and international Enough Campaigns.The goal of the Enough campaign is to change widely accepted and harmful social norms that justify violence against women and girls to ones that promote gender equality and non-violence.

Hawa Wilson, Program Officer at Paramount Young Women Initiative (PAYOWI) attended a three-day Digital Feminist Convening from 2-4 November 2019 in Johannesburg, South Africa, a trip supported by Oxfam International - Enough Africa Platform and the Association for Progressive Communication (APC) Women's Rights Program.

An Oxfam press release issued in Monrovia Wednesday, 20 November says the convening, focused on harmful social norms and masculinity, aimed at enhancing collaboration between young digital feminists and identify joint actions for collaboration and young feminist movement building in Africa.Hawa says this online campaign will help to educate the public on the negative impact of rigid gender norms and how all forms of stereotyping, violence, abuse, and harassment against women can be eradicated.

She says the campaign will be implemented through her organization, Paramount Young Women Initiative.Participants were gathered from implementing countries of The Enough Campaign (Benin, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Ghana, Mali, Ethiopia, Rwanda, Uganda, DRC, Morocco, Malawi, Mozambique, Nigeria, South Africa, Tunisia, Zambia, and Zimbabwe).

Enough campaigners Ora Barclay Keller, Executive Director of Girls for Change Organization and SataahFayiah, Executive Director of Hygiene for Girls, represented Liberia in Accra, Ghana first Enough West African Youth Forum sponsored by Oxfam in Liberia and Benin.

The two shared experiences of young people in shifting social norms that normalize and reinforce violence against women and girls and shared learning from national Enough campaigns in the WAF region.

Ora says, "The program was very interesting, I had the opportunity to network with other Enough Campaign members from 7 other African countries."We had the opportunity to share our experiences as campaigners and the impact of our work across different sectors from CSO's partners around Liberia."She continues, "We learned about new ways to identify and engage with our targets and formulate messages to amplify our advocacy.

According to Ora, one thing that stood out is that in most countries the issues around Sexual Gender based - violence remains a paramount concern and a call for action to stakeholders.

"I had a memorable experience and a lot of take away I can use in our Enough Excuses Campaign and my Organisation," says Ora.

The Forum creates a space for young people to share their experiences and stories, connect these experiences to the systemic causes of violence against women (patriarchy and unequal power relations), identifying and recognizing their power and developing action plans that they can collectively take forward to make positive changes.

The Forum encourages young participants to build a common vision on social norms that reproduce violence against women and girls, what they are, why they must change them and what role young people are playing in shifting these norms.

For Musu Kamara who was supported by Oxfam- Hong Kong Enough Campaign, she learned about the Social Norms (Early Child Marriage, the Objectification/ Ownership of Women, Sexist Oppression of Women intimate partner violence and violence against women in all forms).

Participants included Enough campaign leads from different countries, including representatives from women's rights organisations, young people's organisations and young feminist organisers.

Beneficiaries express thanks and appreciations to Oxfam in Liberia and the Enough Campaign for the learning opportunity and promise to share experiences with respective organizations.

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