Special Awards In Pictures

-To Champion Prevention of Violence Against Women
The National Institute for Public Opinion (NIPO), a pro-democracy group advancing the rights of women in southeastern Liberia has been working extensively in Sinoe County in the southeastern part of Liberia.

“Tackling Violence against Women beyond Borders: Burundi, Guatemala & Liberia” is being implemented by a consortium composed of Oxfam IBIS and Impunity Watch.

It aims to promote a life free from violence, as active citizens, for women, adolescents and girls; by empowering women as change agents, fostering greater awareness of gender equality and women’s rights, while enhancing the prevention and response to violence against women by public institutions and regional and international authorities.

It seeks to address unequal gendered power relations through a transformative approach. The programme is financed by the “Funding Leadership Opportunities for Women” (FLOW) fund set up by The Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

NIPO recently conducted a workshop to enhance women’s political participation and effective leadership in the county and the training was aimed at contributing to national efforts of increasing the number of women in decision-making positions by inspiring female politicians and decision makers to champion prevention of violence against women to making sure that beneficiaries serve as role-models for women’s participation in democratic processes at all levels.

NIPO being one of the partners responsible to achieve the goal of this program which has been working with service providers ( Health, Education, Courts officials, Correction & Immigration officers and Liberia National Police Women and Children section since last year by providing Violence Against Women (VAW) training for service providers in Sinoe County has been able to train services providers.

The workshop was a part of a series of activities planned to be conducted by NIPO under the project titled “Funding Leadership Opportunity for Women” or FLOW. The FLOW Project is being sponsored by OXFAM-IBIS with the view of increasing women’s political participation, fighting sexual and gender based violence and reducing the gender gaps within the population.

In a dispatch, the pro-democracy group emphatically underscores that effective and high-profile female actors in the politics, governance and other aspects of the national and local leadership structures of the country can help to change discriminatory mindsets and encourage other women to aspire for political leadership.

The institution holds strongly that female politicians and decision makers at national and local levels need skills and learning opportunities to make them thoughtful and strategic advocates for women's rights, including sexual and gender based violence prevention and women’s participation in decision-making processes.

The workshop was held recently at Sinoe Youth Center in Greenville, Sinoe County where 25 women from political parties and women CBOs groups from Greenville and Juarzon Districts attended the training.

Meanwhile, NIPO made a number of in-rolls in the fight against sexual and gender based violence in Sinoe County under the FLOW Project when it conducted a four-day training for public service providers and frontline healthcare givers responding to sexual and gender based violence.

The training which took in recent times brought together forty participants from the Liberia National Police, Liberia Immigration Service, frontline healthcare providers, county education office staffs, judicial workers, S/GBV community focal persons and town chiefs. The workshop was held in Greenville, Sinoe County at the same Sinoe Youth Center.

The overall objective of the training was to improve the capacity of service providers responding to violence against women in the county, enhance sexual and gender based violence protection practices, instill ethical principles within service delivery and increase awareness among the general population and decision makers about the implications of gender-based violence as a health and human rights issue in the county in particular and Liberia in general.

At the end of the workshop, 40 service providers (M=22, F =18) acquired knowledge on how to address violence against women and how to network, coordinate and collaborate to reduce the menace in Sinoe County.

During the training, participants were able to identify critical issues/gaps in their respective sectors and design strategies for addressing said critical issues and they also reviewed networking and collaboration opportunities to enhance protection for S/GBV survivors.

The training provided information to participants on the concept of S/GBV and common mistakes/misbeliefs of GBV. Additionally, the training provided legal instruments supporting the fight against SGBV and exploring it as a societal fight which requires a community based approach.

In order to address the critical issues identified, participants developed a strategic implementation action plan for coordination, collaboration, networking and awareness which focuses on creating more awareness on health education at clinics, communities and school campuses and timely and consistent information sharing amongst service providers.

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