Liberian Movie Star Intensifies Campaign to End Violence Against Women
-Tours Four Counties
Liberia’s international movie celebrity Gregory Artus Frank has visited several communities in Montserrado, Margibi, Bong and Nimba Counties raising awareness on ending violence against women and girls and mobilizing men and community leaders to take action to address the situation.
Accompanied by a team from the Artus Frank Studio, Rock City Entertainment and the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality (UN Women), the 2015 Face of Africa Award winner said violence against women and girls is one of the most prevalent violations of human rights in the world, one of the least prosecuted crimes and one of the greatest threats to lasting peace and development.
“We all know that we have to do much more to respond to the cries for justice of women and children who have suffered violence. We have to do much more to end these horrible abuses and the impunity that allows these human rights violations to continue, Mr. Frank told students of five schools at an interactive session organized by the Totota Peace Hut in Bong County.
The movie star’s county tour is part of activities commemorating the observance of the ’16 Days of Activism’ in Liberia.
From 25 November, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, to 10 December, Human Rights Day, the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence Campaign is a time to galvanize action to end violence against women and girls around the world and originated from the first Women's Global Leadership Institute coordinated by the Center for Women's Global Leadership in 1991.
A UN Women guest of honor for the ’16 Days of Activism’, Mr. Frank has been recognized by Liberia’s President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf for his efforts in promoting the rights of women and girls in Liberia.
At the launch of the start of the ’16 Days of Activism’ in Monrovia, President Sirleaf said: “Let me close with what will make a lot of noise. I will like to recognize Frank Artus but I don’t want the noise for noise sake. I am recognizing him because I am now making him a part of the action against violence against women because I am inviting him in whatever thing he does, he should send a message loud and clear that he stands for the rights of children and their protection.”
While Liberia has made tremendous strides in reducing the incidence of sexual and gender based violence and addressing its effects, the issue still remains a major concern for the country.
In 2014 alone, a total of 1,392 Gender Based Violence cases were recorded representing a slight reduction in the number of cases reported in previous years. Around 2,159 cases were reported in 2013, 2012 accounted for 2,493, while 2,383 GBV cases were reported in 2011.
Highlighting the need to accelerate progress on tackling SGBV in Liberia when he address the press in Ganta City Nimba County, the Liberian entertainer said the time for complacency is long gone.
“The silence on violence against women and children has been broken and now is the time for stronger action”.
During his ’16-Days’ county tour, the Liberia movie star held talks with stakeholders at the community level and women leaders on working together to increase awareness on violence against women.
He called for collective efforts in building an effective response and assured of his fullest support and commitment in mobilizing other men to take action to end Gender Based Violence.
Based in Accra Ghana, movie star Gregory Artus Frank is an award winning actor and a UN Women Liberia champion for gender equality.