Saturday, 20 October 2018

Liberia: Weah expresses concern over rape debacle

Edward Blamo In the wake of the sex scandal implicating a former employee of the 'More and Me' charity, President George M. Weah has expressed that his government is deeply concern over reports of an alleged rape scandal involving tons of teenage girls and one official of an American Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) named and styled 'More Than Me'. "Last week, our news media was saturated with coverage of a very sad and tragic story where it is alleged that one of the officers of an NGO established in Liberia for the purpose of protecting young girls of sexual exploitation allegedly raped many of them and infected them with the HIV virus", he told the opening of a Sheroes conference in Monrovia. He mentioned: "this matter is now under investigation by the relevant authority and we must await the findings before drawing any conclusion. Nevertheless, we are deeply concern. A story of this one is indicative of an undeniable increase in the incidence of sexual violence in Liberia". Women still face a range of sexual issues in Liberia, he said "and it holds them back in society and makes social equality a significant challenge. The extent of gender inequalities varies throughout Liberia in regards to status, region rural, urban areas and traditional cultures". "In general, the reality is that women in Liberia have less access to education, healthcare, property and justice when compared to men. What is of particular concern to me is sexual violence. During the civil conflict, there was widespread report of sexual violence towards women", he said. He said "today, more than 15 years after the war, Liberia continues to grapple with high incidences of rape and other forms of sexual and gender base violence against women and girls. Quoting the Ministry of Gender, Pres. Weah said, from January to September 2018, a total of almost 900 sexual and gender base violence cases were reported. Of which more than 500 were rape cases and 475 involved children. These statistics provide alarming evidence that we are still not dealing with this problem in an effective manner.



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