Liberian CSOs launch scorecard on government’s performance in domestication of Maputo protocol

Liberian CSOs launch scorecard on government’s performance in domestication of Maputo protocol

The Youth Coalition for Education in Liberia (YOCEL) in partnership with the Forum for Africa Women Educationalists (FAWE) and Plan International Liberia in August 2019 launched a Scorecard on the domestication of the Maputo Protocol in the country. The event that took place at the Boulevard Palace Hotel on 13th street Sinkor, in Monrovia, Liberia was attended by key National CSOs working on women and girls rights, representatives from the legislature and was officiated by Alice Howard, Deputy Minister for Gender Social and Child Protection (MoGSCP).

The maiden CSOs Scorecard showcases the progress and rate of compliance by the Government of Liberia in domesticating Maputo Protocol articles 4 and 13 that are linked to the eradication of Gender Based Violence and promotion of Economic empowerment among women and girls in Africa. Article 4 obligates AU Member States to observe the Right to life, integrity and security of the Person whilst Article 13 highlights The Economic and Social Welfare Right entitled to the African woman and girl.

According to the findings of the Scorecard, Liberia has made significant progress towards enacting laws and policies that promote and protect the lives of women and girls but is still lacking greatly in terms of implementation. Some of those policies include but not limited to the Revised National Gender Policy of 2018, the Liberia Children’s Law of 2011, Domestic Relations Law, National Policy on Girls Education, The National Human Rights Action Plan of Liberia 2013, The Penal Law of Liberia, The Rape Law and the Domestic Violence Bill of 2019 that was recently passed in July 2019 amongst others.

However, the scorecard reveals gaps in implementation of these policies and laws. For instance, there are only seven safe homes in seven out of fifteen counties of Liberia. Currently, none of the safe homes are fully functional. In addition, the 13 SGBV One stop centers in the country rely heavily on NGOs support and this affects the sustainability of their operations.

A 2015 study by the MoGCSP also shows there are low convictions on the on GBV cases; only 2% of all SGBV cases reported result in a conviction. Whilst the GBV unit in the ministry is already in place, it does not receive any budget allocation for monitoring and implementing of GBV projects but only receives administration costs.

Speaking during the launch of the scorecard, the Deputy Minister took note of the gaps and expressed interest to work with CSOs to address the underlying gaps.

“We understand the important role CSOs play. Obviously there are areas that we have done well but we also welcome the criticism and will work the gaps.”

Ms. Juliet Kimotho from FAWE welcomed the enactment of the Domestic Violence Bill 2019 into law but emphasized on the need to “provide basic needs to victims and survivors of violence especially those that seek help in SGBV centers and safe homes.”

On his part, Matthew S. Karley, Senior Program Manager, YOCEL called on the government to address the increased rape cases in the country.

“The rate at which violence against women in Liberia is being perpetrated is alarming, and we must all join in the fight to make sure we have a safe and protected environment for all persons, regardless of sex”, noted Mr. Karley. He further noted that the scorecard will serve as a CSOs a benchmarking tool to influence the government’s domestication and state party reporting on the Maputo protocol.

Also Speaking during the launch, Madam Miriam Murray, Plan International Liberia Deputy Country Director called on “the creation of spaces to enable women express themselves, especially on issues that affect them.”

The Protocol to the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa better known as the Maputo Protocol obligates AU Member States to guarantee comprehensive rights of women in Africa. This Protocol was adopted by the African Union on 11 July 2003, in Maputo, Mozambique and as of September 2018, a total of 41 countries have ratified it. All countries that have signed to the protocol are expected to submit state party reports to the Special Rapporteur for Women and Girls on a biannual basis at least after every two years. Liberia ratified the protocol in 2008 but has not submitted any state party report to the AU.

Writers: Rita W. Tunwah, Media & Communication Assistant, YOCEL & Juliet Kimotho, FAWE

 

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