Feminist-in-Chief Weah Dialogues with Partners on GBV Issues

Wednesday, 30th January 2019
President Weah and Cabinet Ministers pose with the Head of the UN Country Team in Liberia, Yacoub El Hillo and others following the meeting
President Weah and Cabinet Ministers pose with the Head of the UN Country Team in Liberia, Yacoub El Hillo and others following the meeting
Photo Credit: Executive Mansion Photo

Monrovia, Liberia - Liberia’s “Feminist-in-Chief,” H.E. President Dr. George Manneh Weah, has once again reiterated his resolve and the commitment of his administration to uncompromisingly fight sexual gender-based violence and support individuals and organizations advancing the cause of women. 

 

President Weah said his government was determined to do all that is necessary to address issues of gender-based violence and other forms abuse against women. He said his government will continue to engage stakeholders that are putting gender issues on the front-burner of their agendas.

 

The President, who pronounced himself ‘Feminist-in-Chief”, however said while government was aware of the importance of gender-based violence issues in the country, he was also not unaware of other factors, including cultural implications, which needed broad consultations and extensive education amongst stakeholders.

 

The Liberian Head of State made the remarks Wednesday, January 30, 2019 at his Foreign Affairs Ministry office in discussions with national and international partners who are seeking Liberia’s commitment to the Spotlight Initiative. The Initiative aims to end violence against women and girls.

 

The President and his visitors discussed issues of Gender-Based Violence (GBV) with specific spotlight on Domestic Violence Law and Female Genital Mutilation (FGM).

 

During the meeting, the partners called on the President to take an immediate affirmative action, including extending Executive Order 92 issued by his predecessor Ellen Johnson. The Order was issued to protect women against violence and abolish female genital mutilation (FGM) against young girls under the age of 18.

 

These actions, the GBV stakeholders argued, will help put Liberia on course with the Spotlight Initiative adopted as a global action to address these human rights issues.

 

According to them, there is huge international goodwill for the country to help combat Gender-based violence.

 

 

European Union (EU), one of Liberia’s strategic partners, announced it would commit half a million to Liberia to combat sexual based violence (SBV).

 

They also announced $22 million support to the fight against sexual gender-based violence.

 

According to the stakeholders, Liberia is one of eight countries that will benefit from the assistance.

 

The Resident Coordinator and Head of the UN Country Team in Liberia, Yacoub El Hillo, said it was high time Liberia acted appropriately to change course, as it has been in the news for the wrong reasons.

 

However, the Liberian government informed the stakeholders that it has begun practical steps to address the issue. These actions, the government said, include discussions with chiefs and traditional leaders on the issue.

 

Also adding his voice to the issue, Minister of State for Presidential Affairs, Hon. Nathaniel McGill informed the gathering that it is a sensitive issue that needed to be handled with precaution.

 

The meeting was attended by the UN Resident Coordinator, EU Representative, Swedish Ambassador to Liberia, and EU Women Representative. Also in attendance were the Minister of State for Presidential Affairs, Minister of Gender Women & Social Protection.     

 

The meeting came at the time the government has scaled up consultative meeting with chiefs and traditional leaders on several national issues, including gender-based violence.