Liberia: Adwanga Trains Rural Women On SGBV

Aiding Disadvantaged Traumatized Women and Girls in Liberia, ADWANGA, a civil society organization based in Tappita, Nimba County with funding from the Open Society Initiative for West Africa (OSIWA) has concluded a week long training for fifty rural women in Gender Concept and Response Framework Mechanism at local level in Tappita city, Nimba County.

The women were drawn from ten communities in Boe and Quila and Tappita Administrative Districts in electoral district six and nine respectively.

Speaking to our contributor at the office in Tappita at the end of the training, the Executive Director of ADWANGA, Madam Amelia Cooper said the training was necessary because the women require the requisite skills in responding to Sexual gender based violence in their respective communities.

She said OSIWA is currently funding the project titled Enhancing Access to Justice for Women and Girls through her organization aimed at providing access to justice for survivors of the (SGBV), especially rape.

She said the Gender Concept and Response Framework training serves as 'referral pathway' in dealing with SGBV. In this way according to Madam Cooper, the trainees will be able to swiftly respond to the issue of sexual based violence and other forms of domestic violence against women and girls.

She said the training has earlier been conducted for different groups as the police, court workers and traditional leaders.

Meanwhile, many of the women who spoke to press in an exclusive interview lauded the effort of OSIWA and partner (ADWANGA) for the training and said it has broadened their knowledge on domestic violence and what action they can take to alleviate it.

"What I really learned here is the issue of rape. The act is continually being committed by our heartless men on a daily basis and nothing can be done. Our girls and even babies are raped there by damaging their future. But for now we have been told that we should not compromise rape in our communities".Miss Felecia Toweh of Toweh Town told reporters.

"I am going to work hard in my community to reduce this issue of SGBV because we are learning so many things about SGBV, its effects on the victim. From here I am going to create awareness in my community and tell people about rape and that we all should be involved in reducing such act". Mrs. Margret Wright Yormie commented to press.

ADWANGA was established in 2005 after the civil war to cater for mainly teenage girls in Liberia after survey showed that many teenage girls were becoming victims of Sexual Exploitation and Abuse, SEA.

Since then it has helped to raise the standard of young girls and taken them from vulnerability to income generators. The organization has sponsored and continues to sponsor more disadvantaged and traumatized women and girls in both vocations and academics in more than seven schools in Ganta and Tappita.

Reporter's analysis on SGBV

The issue of Sexual Gender Based Violence, SGBV, and other forms of domestic violence against women and girls continue to claim the attention of human right actors both internationally and local as evidenced by the numerous non-governmental organization, NGOs, civil society groups and even Community Based Organizations, CBOs currently engaged in creating awareness through training seminars and workshops.

On a daily basis there are reports of sexual violence perpetrated against women and girls, especially teenage girls ranging from rape, sexual exploitation and abuse both in homes and in schools and public places. Awareness continues to go on but they are ignored by perpetrators.

The one at stake is the gruesome raping and killing of an eleven year old girl in a town called Boweh in electoral district seven. Since then the remains still in the mortuary in Saclepea as investigations continue to be slow. President George Weah has since voiced his government's commitment to protecting all persons in Liberia from all walks of life. By: Fred Yeegbeh, Jr, Contributor in Lower Nimba County

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