On Thursday 24th, we met with the press core of Liberia to discuss the results of our safety audits on 3 campuses in Liberia. Country Director Korto spoke alongside Ramona, Acting Head of Women’s Rights, Kula Fofana, Head of the Paramount Young Women’s Initiative and head of the research steering committee, along with Fatimah Kromah, a student from Cuttington University.
We shared with the press the methodology adopted for the report and gave an overview of both the global findings as well as the country-specific findings. One member of the press expressed concern that we were calling for “special measures” for women. We responded by outlining how women are treated differently, therefore requiring diifferent support.
We explained how women suffer from the weak infrastructure, poor security and power dynamics between students and professors on campuses in a way that differs from men: Men are not known to be asked to provide sex to professors to pass a class; to suffer or fear rape on campus or be victims of violence as a result of drug-use on campus.
At this stage, we hoped for changes across many universities that would benefit both men and women, some of which might end-up benefiting women more, such as sexual and reproductive health services on campus.
Many members of the press expressed gratitude that ActionAid Liberia had done this research and looked forward to hearing our advocacy strategy.