How another Liberian “Iron Lady” is combating violence against women


by Nelima Kerré | April 16, 2009 • There’s another ‘Iron Lady’ in Liberia who goes by the name of Inspector General Beatrice Munah Sieh-Brown. She is the police chief of Liberia and last night I watched a short feature on World Focus , which was looking at her efforts in combating violence against women. Currently rape is the highest reported crime in Liberia’s capital city Monrovia and more than half the cases involve girls aged between 10 and 14. This gives credence to the discussion on sexual violence in post-conflict societies, which was the main topic of discussion at this year’s International Women’s Day at the U of M – I wrote an article about it here. Rape is often used as a weapon of war, but sexual violence does not stop when the war ends.

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13% of the Liberian police force are women and the goal is to up that number to 20%. Inspector General Sieh-Brown explains that female police officers will be more sympathetic and empathetic with women who have been abused. Any African knows the scenario described by General Sieh-Brown to be sooo true.

In our country been a time when if the female came up and said “I am being abused by my husband”, the male officers downplay it. They look at it like, well you know its your husband, so what. You don’t get that attention you need until maybe somebody’s hurt or dead. But now the female officers are listening to them.

Watch the 7min clip here.

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