Caritas Engages Men of Makorbeh Community to Combat Sexual Gender-Based Violence

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By Millicent Senava Mannah

Caritas Sierra Leone, through its Strengthening Behavioural Change on Sexual Gender-Based Violence (SGBV) Project, recently engaged men of Makorbeh Community in Songo, Western Rural Area to discuss the critical role men could play in the fight against SGBV.

The meeting, held on Friday, April 19, 2024, under the shade of trees in front of the Makorbeh R.E.C Primary School, saw a diverse group of men, both young and old, coming together to discuss this pressing issue.

Head of the project, Kumba Emmanuella Gando, outlined the project’s objectives, emphasizing the need to strengthen institutions and engage state actors, focused on SGBV, to educate the public about their mandates. She highlighted that the project is targeting twenty communities in the Western Rural Area, with an extension of six months from its initial one-year period to achieve its goals.

Kumba Gando stressed Caritas’ commitment to ensuring women live in a violent-free society and underscored the importance of men serving as ambassadors in the fight against SGBV.

Abu Bakarr Sesay, the Youth Chairman of Makorbeh Community, shared how the project had heightened awareness about SGBV issues in the community. He expressed a newfound sense of responsibility among men to protect women and girls, positioning himself as an advocate against SGBV in Makorbeh and surrounding areas.

Regarding the current status of SGBV in the community, he noted that while there are presently no reported cases, historical records indicate a prevalence of violence against women and girls in society.

Ahmed Turay, Senior Social Service Officer of the Ministry of Gender in the Western Rural Area emphasized the marginalized status of women, who often suffer various forms of abuse from men. He highlighted the provisions of the Gender Equality and Women Empowerment Act, 2022, designed to protect and empower women to assume leadership roles in society.

Ahmed Turay stressed the importance of viewing women as vital contributors and agents of change rather than targets of violence. He also reminded men that the law protects them as well, urging them to report instances of violence perpetrated against them by women.

Andrew Kponeh, speaking on masculinity and SGBV issues, attributed some men’s abusive behavior toward women to innate physical characteristics. He suggested that if men could better control these tendencies, instances of violence and sexual assault would decrease.

The engagement marked a significant step forward in involving men as allies in the fight against SGBV, highlighting the importance of community-driven initiatives in addressing this pervasive issue.


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