‘War Long Gone But War Days’ Issues Still Raging’ -Girls Alliance Advocacy Officer Assets

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The Advocacy Officer of Girls Alliance for Future Leadership (GAFL), Kadiatu Bah has disclosed that the 14 years of civil war that Liberians experienced is long gone, but the issues of the war days are still raging in every society of the country. According to her, massive destitution, starvation, poverty, corruption and insecurity are the order of the day. She said children like ever before are the worst sufferers of uncontrolled deprivation and destitution, adding “violence, sexual abuse and rape are perpetrated against the girl child in Liberia unchecked, something that shows that we are not safe.” She made the assertion recently at programs marking the observance of the ‘Day of the African Child’ which was held at the Liberia Dujah high school in Bardnersville. Accordingly, every year on June 16th, young people across Africa gather to remember the 1976 brutal killing of over 100 South African school kids who died in a peaceful pursuit of their rights to education. “The apartheid regime that perpetrated the mayhem against them (students) crumbled years after the incident,” she lamented. Ms Bah, who is also a senior student at the Catholic run St. Theresa Convent High School, indicated that apartheid gave way to a true democracy that resulted into the election of South Africa’s first black head of state, the late President Nelson Mandela, something which shows that wickedness can have a place for a while, but God delivers.  The GAFL Advocacy Officer 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. “Here in our country Liberia, we experienced nearly two decades of civil war, which by all indication tells you that most of us were born while the guns were still king in Liberia,” she said. She continued: “The civil war ended in 2003 with the election of the first democratic government in 2005, and we have had three peaceful transitions since that time.” The GAFL Advocacy Officer asserted that the former ruling Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) led-government allegedly used the National Legislature to legitimize Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) and child marriage. According to her, with no remorse lawmakers allegedly ignored the cry of millions of Liberian women and girls to protect FGM, calling it the sacred religious rites of their traditional people. Ms Bah emphasized that the worst sufferers or direct victims of FGM are Liberian girls’ children, stressing that FGM is the pipeline for child brides and early teenage marriage. Accordingly, in 2003, the African Union (AU) 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, stating that they will not relent until FGM practiced on minors are criminalize by government. She is therefore calling on all girls across Liberia to join them in the fight against FGM by saying no to cutting, and yes to education, and tell their respective lawmaker to protect Liberian girl child. “Enough is enough, we are calling on our President Joseph Boakai, the speaker and president pro-temp to revisit and amend the domestic violence law of 2019 to criminalize performing FGM on girls 17 years and below,” she said. This year’s African Union theme for the celebration of the Day of the African Child is, “Education for all children in Africa: the time is now”, Mr. President, to the laws on the books that have legitimized FGM is an existential threat to girls education, and please rescue girls’ education in Liberia. The Chief of Office Staff in the office of Dr. Nimene Tweh, Jr., Christopher N. Vonziah who proxy for his boss commended Girls Alliance for Future Leadership for standing up against issues that affect underage girls, while at the same time promoting education. He then assured them that the office of Dr. Tweh will work with them in ensuring that their activities are well implemented, because according to him, education is the heartbeat of his boss. He pledged L$100,000 to the group so as to empower it undertake their programs. Schools that grace the program include host, Liberia Dujah high school, New Jerusalem Baptist school and Lombardia International school system.

By: Macpherson C. Marbiah writes/0886442881-0777250370

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