The Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection (MGCSP), will on Wednesday, November 23, 2016 officially launch the25th observance of the 16 Days of Activismwhich will be followed by the signing of a SGBV Joint Program and the launch of a 116 Child Help-lines.
The 16 Days of Activism is a campaign for Violence against Women that takes place annually from the 25th of November to the 10th of December. The global campaign, undertaken by women’s organizations, national government and other stakeholders, spans some very significant dates in the women and human rights movement.
This year’s 16 Days of Activism is being commemorated under a National Theme: “From Peace In The Home To Peace In The World; Stop Domestic Violence, End Child Marriage While Educating All.”.
Key activities commemorating the observance of the 16 Days of Activism includean interaction with traditional female Zoes in MargibiCounty on December 6 and an All Men Conference on GBV and Gender. The World Aids Day and the Day of the Disable are all inclusive of this year’s celebration.
Another significant event is the launch of the End Child Marriage Campaign, a Women Round Table, and a Panel Discussion on the Strategy and Framework to End Child Marriage. The 16 Days of Activism will be climaxed with an official closing event on December 10 which is also the celebration of International Human Rights Day.
Since 2001, Liberia has been actively taking part in the campaign and this year’s observance is a call to action to provide resources for healthy and none abusive environments where everyone can enjoy peace and safe places.
Gender Based Violence across the country remains an uphill challenge with rape still being a major threat to the security of women and children throughout Liberia. The Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection’s GBV statistics show that from January to August, a total of 931 cases were reported, of which 610 were rape cases.
At the sametime,the 116 Help-lines Initiative which is an emergency toll free number is being developed to enable children and young people reach out to somebody or relevant authority in the case of emergency or non-emergence situations. It is being designed to offer a listening ear, counseling and referral services to victims of Sexual and Gender Based Violence (SGBV) as well as to provide children in distress an outlet to voice their problems.
Priority areas of this year’s campaign are to expand accountability of national and sub-national structures and leadership, to enhance the prevention of GBV at all levels, advocate for conducive environment and access to quality education free of violence for all, obtain national and local commitment to end child marriage and provide supportive services for children to ensure they are protected from harmful influences, violence, abuse and exploitation.