CSO Takes Gender Stakeholders To Task
By: E. Geedahgar Garsuah, Sr.
MONROVIA: A Civil Society Organization (CSO) under the nomenclature Justice Forum Liberia (JFL) has criticized government’s agencies charged with the duty to fight the growing menace of rape for what the group Executive Director, Maxson Sahr Kpakio, termed as a lip-service.
According to Mr. Kpakio, the layback attitude of the Liberia National Police (LNP), the Ministry of Gender, Children, and Social Protection (MoGSP) including the Ministry of Health is seriously contributing to the growing wave of rape and Sexual Gender-Based Violence (SGBV) cases across the country.
Speaking to The ‘Investigative’ INDEPENDENT via mobile phone from JFL’s diaspora headquarters situated in Swansea City, United Kingdom, Kpakio frowned at the Government of Liberia (GoL) for what he also described as the lackadaisical manner in which stakeholders are handling the matters of rape in the country.
Mr. Kpakio pointed out that the increase in rape cases across the country since the inception of the Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC), led government especially involving minors is disturbingly alarming.
He blamed the situation on the failure of stakeholders to derive workable mechanisms aimed at curtailing the rising wave of rape.
Providing statistics of rape cases on Thursday, March 10, 2022, before the House of Senate, Gender Minister, Madam Williametta Piso Saydee Tarr, disclosed that 1,325 and 1,750 rape cases were recorded in 2018 and 2019 respectively.
However, Minister Tarr mentioned that the year 2020 saw an increased in rape cases due to the Covid-19 Pandemic, but fell short to provide any reason and exact figure to account for the reported rise in rape cases.
While she did not provide any number for 2021, Minister Tarr however, told the Legislators that 2021 saw a decreased in rape cases across the country.
Howbeit, Kpakio frowned at Minister Tarr for losing track on the fight against rape for her failure to not have the data for rape cases for the years 2020 and 2021.
He said the lack of specific data on the part of the Gender Ministry and state security is posing serious impediment to the fight against rape.
He pointed out that the visibility of pregnant teenagers and adolescent girls across the country is a glaring reality that Statutory Rape is also on the increase while stakeholder stands idly.
He urged the government through the Ministry of Health to arrest the issue of statutory Rape through various health centers across the country.
JFL Executive Director Maxson Sahr Kpakio also called on the Judiciary Branch of government to allocate more budgetary allotment to Criminal Court “E” aimed at capacitating the court to fast strike rape cases.