– ‘HeForShe’ Crusader Lashes At Stakeholders
By Esau J. Farr
The Executive Director for a crusader group, “HeForShe” has lashed at continual complains from major judicial authorities about low budgetary allotment to fast track cases in the country.
Tambah F. Johnson says he gets angry when top decision makers in government complain of low budgetary allotment for the judicial system of the country while they bent on increasing their salaries and allowances every year.
According to him, if major stakeholders want to see speedy trial and timely adjudication of cases across the country, those at the helm of power should be willing to reduce their salaries and allowances for the sake of the poor who cannot afford to run after a case for a longer period of time.
Johnson made the statements Monday when he served as one of the panelists to discuss issues surrounding Sexual and Gender-based Violence issues, challenges and way forward in Liberia.
He lamented that despite massive awareness and campaign launched and carried out since the end of the country’s civil conflicts about fifteen (15) years ago, there still exists huge number of ‘heartless men’ who perpetrate all kinds of wickedness against their female counterparts.
The ‘HeForShe’ Crusaders’ leader wondered why men, especially in Africa should still see women in general as properties to them (men).
“You know, it will shock you to know that despite all of the different laws passed against SGBV and awareness carried out by both national and international partners to discourage the willful manhandling of women and girls in Liberia, there are still men who see women as their properties”, the HeForShe lead crusader disclosed.
Meanwhile, one of the panelists and Director of Gender-based Violence Division of the Ministry of Gender children and Social Protection (MGCSP) has frowned at people who are calling for amendment to the rape law because it is reportedly harsh.
Madam Deddeh Kwekwe pointed out that most of those who are perceiving the law to be harsh are people who don’t or have not read the law.
She disclosed that some those calling for the amendment of the laws are not even aware that penalties of the law are categorized according to the intent of the perpetrator, severity of the wounds inflected and the age range of the victim or survivor.
Madam Kwekwe averred that many people do not see the urgency attached to fast tracking rape and SGBV cases or sentence unless they are directly or closely affected by the act.
She alleged that there are people even in government who do not feel the pains victims and survivors go through but go running to the Ministry of Gender when their relatives or closest relatives fall prey to ‘heartless men’ or individuals.
The SGBV Division’s Director revealed that it was the repeated reports of acid attacks against women and girls in some parts of Liberia that forced her ministry to produce a video documentary or film titled ‘War without gun’ which catalogs series of acid attacks on women, some of whom have either been crippled, blind for life time while others carry crippled babies.
She lamented that such victims then become liabilities to society and their families while others completely go as societal burdens.
The panelists then used the opportunities and called on central government to act well by providing the necessary support to enhance the works of SGBV fighters.