BARCLAY TRAINING CENTER, MONROVIA- 3 MAY 2023: The Department of Gender and Social Inclusion (DGSI) of the Ministry of National Defense (MoD) and Armed Forces of Liberia MoD/ AFL is leaving no stone unturned in promoting gender equality in its bid to increase the MOD/ AFL capacities to be gender-responsive and gender-sensitive.
Recently, in observing the celebrations of International Women’s Day (IWD) 2023, the DGSI, supported by MoD and AFL, ably organized a six-day awareness on Sexual Gender Based Violence (SGBV), Sexual Harassment (SH), Harmful Practices (HP) and Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) in four MoD/AFL Military Barracks including Camp Tubman, Bong County; LCG Base, Grand Bassa County; Camp Sandy Ware, Montserrado County; and Edward Binyah Kesselly (EBK) Barracks, Margibi County.
The IWD 2023 was celebrated under the national theme “Innovating with Technology to Promote Gender Equality”.
The six-day awareness program activities, executed by the IWD Awareness and Gender-Related Outreach Team under the coordination and guidance of the DGSI, consisted of a six-members, constituting four (4) civilian administrators and two (2) AFL Personnel.
The presentations and discussions on SGBV, SH, and HP SRHR at the four military barracks anticipated 140 personnel of the AFL, but a total of 132 personnel were available.
A total of 50 staff and personnel of the MoD/AFL were targeted to participate during the IWD 2023 official celebrations. However, due to the glamorizing ability of the AFL Band Unit and the awareness potential of DGSI, 80 staff and personnel participated.
At the end of the six-day awareness program activities, participants can now identify the six core types of Gender Based Violence (GBV), discuss the four tools of the GBV Information Management System and explain the concept of the System, identify sexual gender-based violence, identify types of sexual harassments and steps to filing a complaint, identify all parties in the implementation framework of the MoD/AFL Gender Policy and Five-Year Action Plan and the responsibility in the implementation of the Policy, and recognize some achievements by females officers in Security Sector Institutions (SSIs).
In a related development, the MoD/AFL DGSI concluded a week-long gender-related training and setting up of Gender Safety Nets Peer Group Discussion Leadership Structures and Advisory Committees, in three MoD/AFL-operated schools.
According to Madam Edwina T. N. Carr, Director, DGSI, “These initiatives were all executed to mainstream gender in all MoD/AFL policies and programs as mandatory by the MoD/AFL Gender Policy and Five Year Action Plan (2021-2025).”
These structures will be concerned with prevention and response to gender-related offenses in the schools. We remain thankful to our Leaderships for their uncompromising interest and support in our gender mainstreaming efforts.
The DGSI, with support from the MoD and the AFL, is working with MoD/AFL-operated schools in undertaking this gender mainstreaming program for the protection of girls and boys.
“DGSI really appreciate MoD/ AFL leadership for the guidance and support; and we also appreciate our partners, especially UN Women Liberia, ActionAid Liberia, UNDP and other partners for their support in mainstreaming gender in all our programs, plans and policies,” Director Edwina T.N. Carr emphasized.