Liberia: Gender Ministry Advances Roadmap Under National Rape Emergency

Monrovia — Strengthening the fight against rape remains a top priority of the Government of Liberia, having declared a national emergency to curb the menace, the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection (MOGCSP) has declared.

It said the Government has, therefore, set the stage for the Ministry to act expediently while implementing several robust actions in the premise.

Recently, the Government of Liberia through the MOGCSP convened a two-day Anti-SGBV National Conference on Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV) during which the body derived at new methods and approaches aimed at curbing the growing rate of rape and other forms of Gender-Based Violence in the country.

Following the conference, the Cabinet of President George M. Weah convened and received the National Anti-Rape and SGBV Roadmap which evolved from deliberations of the Inter-Ministerial Task Force.

As contained in the roadmap, the MOGCSP will take key steps on the overall to prevent the occurrence of rape, seeking the welfare of survivors, engaging religious organizations, and implementing existing treaties on rape, among other vital steps.

The Ministry will ensure that prevention of sexual violence is taught at all levels of education institutions with emphasis on teacher's training, while it will also guarantee that SGBV training be given to police officers so as to ensure that unnecessary questions by police are prohibited to avoid the victimization of survivors.

The MOGCSP will work to decentralize the child welfare committee in all communities for mass awareness, as is also highlighted in the Roadmap as well as the establishment of GBV clubs in all institutions of learning so as to ensure that children are taught the lessons of RAPE/SGBV.

Among other actions as contained in the Roadmap, the MOGCSP is seeking to create space for perpetrators to be rehabilitated, create pictorial tool on SGBV for children as well as decentralize girls' conference into all communities annually and in traditional spaces and locales.

It also entails the provision of financial support and protection for parents/victims to mitigate compromises, prohibit the use of drugs and alcohol, particularly amongst the young people, including school-going-kids, and conducting awareness on misuse of identifying survivors as "victims."piso

The Roadmap highlights that survivors of rape should be treated with respect and dignity, the building of billboards, production of jingles and dramas to spread awareness on rape/SGBV as well as the development of standardized reporting template and system in all schools to report on rape/SGBV cases.

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