The President of the Republic, Feminist-in-Chief George Manneh Weah, has embarked on robust engagement with stakeholders and members of his government in tackling rape and sexual gender-based violence (SGBV) which has become a pandemic in the country.
In his closing remarks Wednesday, September 9,2020, at the end of a two-day Anti-Rape/SGBV Conference convened by his government at the Ministerial Complex in Congo Town, President Weah reiterated his zero-tolerance stance on issues of violence against women, vowing that he would leave no stone unturned in battling the pandemic and its perpetrators.
“I have just been presented with the Validated Roadmap, which is the result of the concerted efforts and inputs of all participants at this important National Conference, and it is my pleasing duty to accept it on behalf of the Government of Liberia," the President asserted. “We will then move with all deliberate speed to roll out the other measures in due course.”
Because of the exigency attached to the issue of SGBV, mainly rape, the President announced that he would hold a cabinet meeting Friday, September 11, barely two days after the national stakeholders’ conference.
He said given the importance of the document presented to him, with its comprehensive proposals and recommendations for a holistic and inclusive response to the high incidence of rape and sexual gender-based violence in Liberia, the government would announce a number of measures and actions for immediate implementation, as the first steps to begin to urgently address these issues.
While stressing that collective involvement is a surest way towards minimizing or eradicating rape in Liberia, President Weah acknowledged that government alone cannot win the battle to defeat the scourge of rape/SGBV.
He called on the Inter-Religious Council, the Council of Churches, the Traditional Council, community leaders, and all Liberians to “join hands with us to win the war against rape and SGBV in Liberia.”
The Liberian Chief Executive thanked the conference participants for their contributions to the success of what he termed "important national initiative."
President Weah particularly thanked members of the 54th Legislature who demonstrated commitment by their full attendance during the two days gathering.
"I also want to thank the European Union Spotlight Initiative, the Swedish Government, and the One UN organization for always being our lead international partners in the fight against sexual gender-based violence in Liberia," he noted.
Acknowledging support from partners, the President said his government looks forward to more financial and technical support from partners to “enable us to implement the National Roadmap fully and timeously.”
The President also thanked international NGOs, Women NGOs, civil society actors, and all the women, girls, and young people of Liberia who, he said, had been strong and steadfast in fighting the scourge of rape.
“We have listened keenly to presentations by women’s groups, youth and student leaders, and the collective expertise of our local and international partners," he recounted. "Additionally, we heard important speeches from the First Lady of Liberia, Her Excellency Madam Clar M. Weah, and the former President of Liberia, Madam Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, both of whom are passionate about the protection of the vulnerable in our society, especially women and young girls and boys."
In addition to these contributors to the success of the conference, he acknowledged the leadership of the Legislative and Judicial branches of Government for sharing their views and concerns about the rising social menace.
President Weah declared that the deliberations were intended to validate the “Government of Liberia & Partners’ Roadmap on Ending Sexual and Gender-Based Violence 2020-2022” prepared by a High-Level Inter-Ministerial Committee and presented to his Office in July this year.
Source: Executive Mansion/www.emansion.gov.lr