The bold move by the President followed the successful conclusion of a 2-day National Anti-Rape and Sexual Gender-Based Violence (SGBV) Conference that was convened by Government to validate the National Road map on Rape and SGBV produced by the Inter-ministerial taskforce set up by him a few weeks ago. In remarks at the end of the national stakeholders’ conference on September 9, and following the receipt of the communiqué derived from deliberations at the conference, the Feminist-In-Chief promised that his administration would move with deliberate speed in ensuring that commendations presented would be judiciously and expeditiously addressed.
The declaration of the National Rape Emergency on Friday, September 11, 2020, which has come barely two days out of the national anti-rape conference held on September 8-9, 2020, fulfilled that promise of the President and his zero tolerance stance on rape and SGBV. Under the National Rape Emergency, President Weah declared initial measures that include the appointment of a Special Prosecutor for rape; the setting up of a National Sex Offender Registry; the establishment of a National Security Taskforce on SGBV, and the allotment of an initial amount of US$2 Million to beef up the fight against rape and SGBV in the country.
Speaking following the issuance of the proclamation, President Weah said his administration would spare no effort in ensuring that the rape and SGBV epidemic scourging the country is curtailed. The Liberian Chief Executive said additional measures would be announced subsequently including Executive Orders to protect the vulnerable and to ban harmful traditional practices. He urged all Liberians, activists and as well as local and international stakeholders to work with Government to defeat rape and SGBV in the country.