The observance of activism against gender-based violence, the same as violence against women and girls, is a global plague that affects 1 in 3 women in their lifetime and cannot be overemphasized due to the socio-economic concern that has far-reaching consequences for victims and society at large, in homes and at workplaces.
Next to home is the workplace. This is why women’s groups at the workplace have every reason to play a decisive role in standing up against gender-based violence, so as to provide a safe space for women to share their experiences, seek support, and raise awareness about the issue, as well as help to create a culture of respect and inclusion and eliminate gender stereotypes and biases that contribute to violence against women both at home and in the workplace.
Hence, in a powerful display of solidarity and commitment to eliminating violence against women and girls, the Women Association of the Civil Service Agency (CSA) came together on Wednesday, December 6, 2023, to observe the United Nations 16 Days of Activism Campaign. The campaign, aimed at eliminating violence against women, kicked off internationally on November 25th and will end on December 10th, Human Rights Day.
The event opened with a poignant ceremony at the agency headquarters, where prominent female leaders and advocates delivered speeches about the importance of collective action in ending violence against women and girls. The event highlighted the agency’s commitment to creating a safe and inclusive working environment for all employees.
Presenting the background of the 16 days of activism, the president-elect of the CSA’s Women Association, Maudlyn Kortee, from the Management Services Division, outlined the importance of the day, adding that it is very significant to women and girls around the world. She stated that the 16 days set aside for the elimination of violence against women are an opportunity to raise awareness about the health and social consequences of violence against women.
Serving as the keynote speaker, Mrs. Kumba Zota-Kiadii, the Assistant Director for Career Management and Training at the CSA, delivered a message on the elimination of violence against women and investing in women’s economic empowerment. She cautioned against the need for women to come together to empower one another, noting that women should not use their education to bring others down.
Madam Kiadii acknowledged that violence against women remains a challenge but can be eradicated by creating opportunities through empowering programs, and stated that transparency and accountability should be the road map for women in society to serve as role models for other young women.
In furtherance, Assistant Director Kiadii told her colleagues to empower themselves through businesses in order to help eradicate poverty, as well as encourage them to take up the initiative to participate in politics and not be intimidated by men.
Making the closing remarks, the outgoing President of the CSA Women Association, Mrs. Amelia C. Kollie, serving as the Deputy Director of Payroll, thanked the women of CSA for being a part of the program, adding that such gatherings help educate women about the eradication of gender-based violence. Mrs. Kollie ended by stating that economic empowerment is very key to women’s development, highlighting that its prevention helps to strengthen a safe environment for women and girls.
Prior to the event, the Women Association of CSA initiated an “Orange Ribbon” campaign, encouraging male colleagues to wear the orange ribbon as a symbol of their commitment to stand against gender-based violence. The agency’s premises were adorned with male employees sporting the orange ribbon, creating a visually striking reminder of the collective effort to end violence against women.
The theme for this year’s 16-Days of Action campaign is being held under the global theme, “Invest to prevent violence against women and girls,” and Liberia’s national theme is “Empower women, Secure Our Nation: Invest locally to prevent violence against women and girls.”
The CSA’s active participation in the UN 16 Days of Activism Campaign underscores the crucial role institutions can play in fostering a culture of respect, equality, and dignity for all and serves as a beacon of hope for similar initiatives across the country.
The Civil Service Agency established by an act in 1973, is a central and independent government agency responsible for supervising and managing the Civil Service by ensuring that a merit-oriented system is applied throughout the public sector.