Despite international and legislative commitments, discrimination against women in Liberia continues to be pervasive. Sexual violence is widespread; 77% of women and girls have been victims of some form of sexual violence. Gender-based violence continues to occur at elevated rates, and the government fails to protect victims or hold perpetrators accountable. Although rape is a crime in Liberia, the government has failed to enforce the law effectively.
Liberia has made some efforts to implement recommendations of the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women but discrimination against women is still widespread. The Liberian government is legally required to provide free and compulsory education to all children until the ninth grade, but girls are educated at much lower rates than boys.
Additionally, throughout Liberia, women’s inheritance rights are subject to discriminatory provisions and limitations in both statutory and customary law, causing women to be deprived of property and inheritance.
With assistance from the Zorzor District Women Care (ZODWOCA), a Liberian NGO, The Advocates identified recommendations concerning these three issues and offered a list of questions the Committee should pose during its review of Liberia’s compliance with its obligations under CEDAW.
The Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women reiterated our concerns in its List of Issues to the Liberian government.
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