Amend the Domestic Violence Law Of 2019 -Girls Alliance Urges Govt

By H Matthew Turry

MONROVIA – In commemoration of the International Day of the African Child, the Advocacy Officer of the Girls Alliance for Future Leadership, Kadiatu Bah, has called on the Liberian government to revisit and amend the Domestic Violence Law of 2019 to criminalize Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) for girls below 17 years.

Ms Bah who said, asked the audience to “Say ‘no’ to cutting and ‘yes’ to education, implored President Boakai to rescue girls’ education in Liberia, adding that enough is enough.

The Advocacy Officer of the Girls Alliance for Future Leadership asserted, “We are calling on our President, his excellency Joseph Boakai. The Speaker and the president pro-temp to revisit and amend the Domestic Violence Law of 2019 to criminalize performing FGM for girls of ager 17 years and below.

She spoke yesterday, June 17, 2024, in Gardnersville, where her group joined global bodies around the continent in observance of the International Day of the African Child 2024 which was held on the global theme, “Education for all children in Africa: the time is now”

Addressing the occasion, Ms Bah indicated that in our country Liberia, we experienced nearly two decades of civil war, which by all indications tells you that most of us were born while the gun was still killing in Liberia.

“The war has long gone but the issues of the war days are still raging. She name the raging issues to include massive destitution, starvation, poverty, massive corruption and insecurity, adding the children were mainly disadvantaged. The Children, he maintained, were the worst sufferers of the uncontrolled deprivation and destitution, adding that “Violence, sexual abuse, manifests in the form of rape perpetrated against the girl child in Liberia, which she said unchecked as she noted that the girl child is not save.

According to Ms Bah, the Liberian government under the Congress for Democratic Change used the national legislature to legitimize female genital mutilation and child marriage.

“With no remorse lawmakers in this country ignored the cry of millions of Liberian women and girls that yearned for protection against FGM, calling it the sacred religious rite of their traditional people.”

She noted that the worst sufferers or direct victims of FGM are the Liberian girls’ children and FGM is use as a channel for child brides in early or teenage marriage.

“In 2023, the African Union committee of Experts on the rights of children called for an end to all harmful cultural practices that have the potential of harming especially the girl child, we will not relent until FGM practiced on minors is criminalize by the government”.

Turning to the essence of the Day of the African Child celebration, the Girls Alliance official said, “On the date June 16th, we gather to remember the 1976 brutal killing of over 100 south African school kids who died in peaceful pursuit of their rights to education.

She accentuated that the apartheid regime that perpetrated the mayhem against them crumbled years after the incident.

“Apartheid gave way to true democracy that resulted into the election of South Africa’s first black head of state, the late president Nelson Mandella. Which just showed that wickedness can just have its place for a while, but God delivers”, she said.

She noted that the organization of African Unity (OAU), did well to establish the day, not only to commemorate the awful event, but to also annually highlight difficulties children are facing across Africa.

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