Source: AllAfrica
Monrovia — Religious leaders from all parts of the country have met in Monrovia to discuss the proposed bill for legislation currently at the Liberian senate, titled the Domestic Violence Act. The bill strategically address issues of Domestic Violence Act (DVA) of which Article 16.21 focused on the practice of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM). At the day long dialogue the religious leaders committed to using their various platforms to create the necessary awareness and education about the draft legislation.

The Ministry of Gender Children and Social Protection years ago presented a proposed Domestic Violence Bill to the Legislature but the bill has suffered setbacks.

The one day event supported by the Women Solidarity Incorporated (WOSI) and funded by the Open Society Initiative for West Africa (OSIWA) saw it appropriate to organize a dialogue forum with relevant national stakeholders and religious leaders to sensitize them on the significance of the proposed DVA bill, as well as its urgency for legislation.

The objective of the day long forum according to Marian Daih executive Director of the group was to inform religious leaders on the DVA and the importance for its passage into law as well as soliciting strategies and build alliance with religious leaders on the DVA bill passage.

According to the Group Executive Director the initiative is a response to buttress the Ministry of Gender and Children Social Protection efforts to ensure that the law is legislated to protect women, men and children from the act of domestic violence.

The one day stakeholder's dialogue forum with religious leaders is one of the series of dialogue forums being conducted by WOSI to educate and provide clarity on the bill with the purpose of building alliance with relevant stakeholders in order advocate for a legislation of the proposed Domestic Violence Bill.

Lessons learned from the dialogue include; the reinforcement of the National effort for an Anti-Female Genital Mutilation law in Liberia which is designed to all relevant stakeholders advocacy dialogues across all sectors of the Liberian society to enhance the advocacy for a law against the practice of FGM.

So far, several stakeholders' dialogue forums have been held with inspiring results.

Recognizing that the religious leaders have vast influence in society, WOSI and its partners decided to host the one-day dialogue forum with religious leaders from various faiths who are key actors in the pursuit for positive change that would advance strategies for advocacy on the passage of the DVA.

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