(LINA) – The Government of Liberia in conjunction with the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) is convening a two-day National Colloquium on Sexual and Gender Based Violence (SGBV) against women and girls in the country.
Making remarks on Monday at the Monrovia City Hall, the Resident Representative of UNDP, Pa Lamin Beyal, said the national event will create awareness on the rape law, strengthening coordination, understanding the different actors to identify key drivers of support to compliance with domestic and international human rights obligations by national and other duty bearers with specific focus on women and girls rights.
The UNDP official indicated that the urgent need to tackle SGBV and ensure innovation as well as implementation will help eliminate violence against women and girls in the country.
He asserted that violence against women and girls is a major obstacle to the fulfillment of women and girls’ human rights and to the achievement of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, citing that it occurs worldwide, and cutting across all generations, nationalities, communities, and spheres of societies, irrespective of age, ethnicity, disability or other background.
“We as UNDP will support the implementation and capacity development project. In response to the need of strengthening the government capacity to respond to and eradicate cases of SGBV, Harmful Traditional Practice (HTPs) and building better institutional framework for enhanced protection and services to survivors,” the UNDP Representative added.
He emphasized that this initiative will follow a human rights-based approach, take into consideration the specific needs of who experience multiple and intersecting forms of discrimination and uphold the principles of leaving no one behind.
According to him, perpetrators of SGBV, HTPs and Sexual Reproductive Human Rights crimes as well as other related violations need to be prosecuted in order to strengthen the justifiability of these cases.
“We also acknowledge that in addressing these challenges on violations, networking coordination and information sharing are vital to eliminating these factors. We will come away with meaningful interventions that will curb all of the above mentioned challenges,” Beyal stated.
Beyal pointed that it is UNDP’s hope that improved coordination for effective prosecution of SGBV crimes and access to SRH rights are achieved and increased awareness on rape law and advocacy on procuring witness, amongst others, are accomplished.
The program which was organized by the Government of Liberia in collaboration with the European Union and United Nations through the Spotlight Initiatives brought together stakeholders, Government ministries, international partners, students, elders and chiefs of the traditional council, amongst others.
The European Union and the United Nation launched the Spotlight Initiatives months ago, aimed at addressing all forms of violence against women and girls and eradicating harmful practices, through a transformative and evidence-based approach, addressing unequal power relations between men and women and focusing on gender equality and women’s employment.