BY Jefferson D. Tweh
The Association of Female Lawyers of Liberia (AFELL) in collaboration with Finn Church Aid has demonstrated its commitment and provided a three-day legal knowledge to the Bassa Mother’s Club in Grand Bassa County.
The training was aimed at promoting, protecting, and advancing the rights of women and children and also educating them on Inheritance Law, Domestic Violence, Mental and Emotional Abuse, Sexual Abuse, Economic Abuse, and Physical Abuse against them in the country.
Speaking at the three-day training workshop held in Grand Bassa County, the Project Coordinator of FCA/AFELL Attorney E. Gidu Johnson said it is against the law for a traditional girl who is underage to be given to any man in marriage. Therefore, she said people should not exhibit such traditional practice that will actually affect the lives of girls’ children.
Atty. Johnson told the participants that it is against the Law for a traditional father and mother to choose their traditional daughter’s husband or force their daughter to marry a man, stating that no parent should choose their daughter’s husband, as this is prohibited.
According to Atty. Johnson, equal rights should be given to customary wives, and traditional wives must not be forced to work but husband and wife must work together to support the family.
She added that domestic and physical violence against women and children in the country is a major challenge because many times women and children’s rights had been violated, and 85 percent of intimate partners of violence are women, and those women range between the ages 16 to 24 are at the highest risk of being affected by intimate partner violence.
“In other words, women who are married or living with their boyfriends or who have partners though not living together, are the ones who are mostly victims of domestic violence,” Atty. Johnson told participants.
She added that both partners living together should respect each other, and the husband should not violate his wife’s right at all times but both should live in peace and the husband should show love to his wife and cater to her needs and the woman should respect her husband as well.
Furthermore, she told the participants during a three-day training that they should not compromise rape cases in the county but report it to the Liberia National Police(LNP) because rape is a sexual abuse against women and girls, therefore people should not settle it in a family way.