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Women Solidarity Incorporated (WOSI) over the weekend held a one day intensive stakeholder meeting with religious leaders both Christian and Muslim at the YWCA in Congo Town on June 9, 2017.

Addressing the participants at the dialogue, the executive director of WOSI disclosed that the meeting was intending for Religious leaders in the country to assist in appealing to the National Legislature to pass the Domestic Violence Act or DVA into law.
Madam Deah disclosed that currently, the proposed Bill for legislation is at the Liberian Senate, titled: “The Domestic Violence Act or DVA” which strategically addresses issues of domestic violence of which Article 16.21L focused on the practice of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM).
According to her the House of Representatives has passed the Act and it is currently before the Liberian Senate something she noted that it is taking more time , making girls and women to suffer more violence in the country.
She noted that the Ministry of Gender and Children Social Protection presented the proposed DVA Bill to the national legislators for legislation and the bill has suffered a great setback at the national legislature.
The Executive Director of Women Solidarity Incorporated (WOSI) further stressed the organization with funding from the Open Society Initiative for West Africa (OSIWA) deems it appropriate to organize dialogue forums with relevant national stakeholders this time, with the Religious leaders to sensitize them on the significance of the proposed DVA bill, as well as its urgency for legislation.
According to her the initiative is also intended to buttress the Ministry of Gender and Children Social Protection efforts to ensure that a law is legislated to protect women, men and children from the act of domestic violence.
The one–day stakeholders` dialogue forum with religious leaders is one of the series of dialogue forums being conducted by WOSI to educate and provide clarity on the DVA with the purpose of building alliance with relevant stakeholders in order to advocate for a legislation of the proposed Domestic Violence Bill.
Madam Mariam Deah disclosed that lessons learned from previous advocacy works done by WOSI, show that networking across all sectors of the population in decision-making, makes it strong and result oriented especially where lawmaking is involved.
She added that initiative is in response to lessons learned; by WOSI and it should include in its advocacy project “Reinforcing National Efforts for an Anti-FGM Law in Liberia” designed to reach all relevant stakeholders’ advocacy dialogues across all sectors of the Liberia society to enhance the advocacy for a law against the practice of FGM.
According to her several stakeholders’ dialogue forums have been held with inspiring results. Recognizing that the religious leaders have vast influence in the Liberia society, WOSI and its partners decided to host a one-day dialogue forum with religious leaders from various faiths who are key actors in the pursuit for positive change that would advance strategies for advocacy on the passage of the DVA.
At the end of the dialogue the religious leaders agreed to form an alliance and to propagate the messages of domestic violence and female genital mutilation on their various platforms.
They also lauded the women group for been very farsighted in bringing them on board to discuss important national issues with them for the way forward.

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