Deputy Gender Minister Frowns On Violence Against Women

By Willie N. Tokpah


Deputy Gender, Children and Social Protection Minister Alice Johnson-Howard has frowned at the marginalization of women in Liberia. This according to Madam Johnson-Howard contributes largely to their venerability and crimes against them.

She said women are the most marginalized in various sectors of Liberia; adding; “This sometimes leads them to become vulnerable to crimes and abuse in society.”

She told a gathering at the close of a training exercise over the weekend that women must take the lead to put an end to the violent act they experience on a daily basis.

“In spite of these challenges that you continue to face, let it be clear that all is not yet lost, there are still opportunities out there and you must take the lead to be the change you want to be,” Minister Johnson-Howard urged.

The Deputy Gender Minister further encouraged women to take advantage of various skills training and business opportunities that will beef up their skills for them to earn their livelihood.

The training exercise was organized under the banner, “Be the Change Academy,” by Youth Crime Watch of Liberia, a non-governmental organization working in the area of peacebuilding, justice and women and youth empowerment among other.

Speaking further, Dep. Minister Johnson-Howard disclosed that single mothers are the most affected among venerable women, due to denial by spouses or sometimes refusal to support them during and after pregnancy.

But these negative odds, the Minister said can be alleviated if women are focused and determined.

 “You have the power to create a change in your living conditions and assist in maintaining your households,” she stated.

She also called for the participation of women in vocational education as a way of helping themselves, noting that government alone cannot do it all.

Minister Johnson-Howard, at the same time, pledged government’s support through the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection in empowering women in Liberia.

For his part, Youth Crime Watch of Liberia Executive Director Zuo Taylor noted that the skills training is intended to build the capacities of vulnerable young women in business entrepreneurship.

“This skills training will enable most of the women to improve from smaller businesses to larger ones. Most of our women, who are doing these smaller businesses do not have the skills of moving from where they are to bigger ones, so this training is important for them,” Taylor asserted.

He said that the program is a 15-week intensive training session, targeting young women between the ages 15 to 25.

The Youth Crime Watch Executive Director at the same time stressed that the training is meant for communities without vocational skills training facilities but these communities sometimes show little or no interest to accept the program.


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