The protection and education of the girl child took center stage at the celebration of the ECOWAS Human Rights Day in Monrovia with the Special Representative of the President of ECOWAS, Ambassador Tunde Ajisomo, saying that it is good to develop the girl children for better tomorrow, rather than giving their hand for early marriage and other harmful traditional practices in the country.
The ECOWAS Representative made the statement at a local hotel in Monrovia, Liberia during the event with the international theme of the day being, “Promoting Affirmative Action on the Right of the Girl Child to Education,” and the national theme being, “Take Action to protect our Girls from Harmful Traditional Practices,” were the crust of the topic of discussion by the ECOWAS representative.
Ambassador Tunde Ajisomo said that the time has come in Africa to provide better future for girls, saying that no one can change the sad situation rather than the people themselves. He told the gathering that women in Africa have suffered for a long period of time, adding that the story of girls need an urgent change, a change that will bring smile on their faces regarding quality amongst others.
He continued that providing quality and affordable education for girls in the country is what every Liberian should be thinking to do, looking at the fact that girls are the most vulnerable in the society, and as a result they need help.
The ambassador who is also an educator has condemned rape and other harmful traditional practices in the country. He further said his office will always continue to engage with stakeholders to see that the issue of rape and harmful traditional practices are put to stop in the country.
He called on the government, human rights organizations, the UN family and other partners to deal with issues affecting the development of girls in the country.
In his statement, the acting chairman for INCHR described the day as a blessing and opportunity for girls in the country. Rev. Bartholomew Colley said the problems are huge and needs to be stopped it if the country meant well for the girl child in Liberia.
Rev. Bartholomew Colley said that celebrating the ECOWAS Human Right Day is not just a celebration, but finding a way forward of helping girls with their problems and building a reality future for their tomorrow.
The INCHR continued that his office has always been in support of promoting girl child education and discouraging issues that affect girls in the country.
Rev. Colley disclosed that the prevention of rape has been one of the biggest challenges of girl’s education in the country, saying the issue of silence needs to be avoided and sometimes the court’s delay in handling rape cases is one thing needs improvement.
A panel discussion features ECOWAS, Ministry of education, MoGCSP, CSO, MOJ and INCHR on how to tackle problems facing girls and women in the country; reports Anthony Q. Jiffan, Jr. .