(Monrovia, Liberia): The President of the Republic, H.E. Dr. George Manneh Weah, said Liberia can overcome the scourge of rape but it would require unity of purpose and deliberate focus amongst all Liberians on what can be collectively done.
He said the combined efforts of various branches of government—the Executive, Legislature, Judiciary—as well as the civil society, particularly sexual gender-based violence stakeholders, are needed on deck to stop rape in the country.
President Weah made the assertion on Monday, August 31, 2020, when he spoke to the media after receiving a roadmap dossier from the inter-ministerial taskforce on SGBV at the Ministerial Complex in Congo Town.
The Inter-Ministerial Taskforce was constituted by the President on July 29, 2020, with a mandate to put into place a technical team comprising relevant stakeholders who will regularly discuss, consult and provide concrete and enforceable recommendations on enhancing the fight against SGBV.
He had also mandated the team to submit to him their findings as promptly as possible for decisive actions
“Rape is a serious issue that needs to be weeded out of society,” the Feminist-In-Chief said. “There must be a zero-tolerance on rape and all forms of SGBV. We must protect our girls, boys, and women. It is paramount we do so without fear or favor.”
The president called on all actors including, the media, to join the fight against rape and SGBV.
“You are the voice for the voiceless,” the President said referring to journalists. “Help us to create awareness and join the conversation to stamp out rape.”
Receiving the roadmap document, the Chief Executive averred, “I am going to peruse and invite the civil society organizations, the Legislature and the Judiciary to sit and continue the discussion because this is important and sensitive. We all need to sit and discuss the way forward if we are to be successful in protecting our girls, women, and other vulnerable people.”
He continued: “As President of Liberia, it is my responsibility to lead all efforts to address social and societal irregularities and threats that befall our people or any segment of it. I have stated on many occasions that, as Feminist-in-Chief, I have zero tolerance for Sexual and Gender-Based Violence. And I mean it.”
The roadmap document, according to the Inter-Ministerial Taskforce Chair, Williametta E. Saydee-Tarr, comprises findings and recommendations in the short, medium, and long time to address and possibly weed out rape beginning September 2020 to September 2022.