LIBERIA: Legal Empowerment of African Women and Girls Stressed

…Crucial to achieving Gender Justice..”Oxfam Pan Africa Programme Director Janah Ncube” – Oxfam recognises that gender inequality and the injustices that women experience in their everyday lives are key drivers of poverty. Far and above the undeniable and immeasurable contribution that African women can make towards the future growth and development of Africa, women’s rights are human rights and must not be denied. There must be both equal treatment and equal value of women and men, girls and boys.

Oxfam Pan Africa Programme Director, Janah Ncube

Oxfam Pan Africa Programme Director, Janah Ncube

‘The Protocol to the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights-also known as the Maputo Protocol comprehensively addresses  issues that affect and impede African women and girls access to their fundamental rights.

The Protocol on the Rights of Women in Africa is the most progressive legally binding instrument addressing women and girl’s rights the world over and is a guiding light in the continued fight against gender injustice. We call upon the government of Liberia to develop policies and implement programmes that make the rights and freedoms in the Protocol a reality for every girl child and every woman in Liberia’ Ms. Ncube stated.

Oxfam is this year launching a Women’s Legal Empowerment project in Liberia which is strongly grounded in the Maputo Protocol which was ratified by the Liberian government in 2007.

 This is a multi-country project (running in Rwanda, Uganda, South Africa, Tanzania, Liberia & Nigeria) that also runs at regional and continental levels. Overall, the project seeks to ensure that African women and girls are able to access their fundamental human rights in areas that are notoriously polarising and sensitive within the African context such as land rights, sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) and ending of early, child and forced marriage.

Acting Liberia Country Director Mr. David Crawford confirmed that Oxfam in Liberia will focus in on adolescents SRHR with the goal of addressing and turning the tide on the growing number of unplanned teenage pregnancies.”Our concern with teenage pregnancies is that these young girls are having unprotected sexual relations exposing them to Sexually Transmitted Infections (STI’s) including HIV; they are not ready to be mothers many of them children themselves and some end up in forced and/or child marriages” he said.

Oxfam works with other to end poverty and fight injustice. It operates in 94 countries worldwide including 34 countries in Africa working to eradicate global poverty