The Violence against Girls Education (VAGE) started following a Participatory Vulnerability Analysis (PVA) research conducted by ActionAid Liberia, its partners, relevant nongovernmental organizations and other stakeholders on factors affecting girls’ access to education in a few communities in Grand Gedeh and River Gee Counties. The six project areas include Zwedru City, Tiamah and Putu Pennokon; and Jakaken and Kelipo Kanweaken and Fishtown City.
In context, girls face both psychological and physical violence in and out of school and including sexual harassment. In addition, they take on other roles such as household chores and taking care of younger siblings. The research revealed practices of corporal punishment and public shaming by school authorities; cultural barriers such as early and forced marriage, preferential treatment for boys with respect to economic investment, exclusion of married or pregnant girls; and limitation of girls’ mobility for fear of being violated en route to schools. The prevailing situation was exacerbated by the protracted period of conflict which resulted in a massive decline in school enrollment of children, especially girls in rural communities. The project seeks to draw the attention of duty bearers to the discrimination and violations that girls go through en route to and in school and out of school geared towards increasing girls enrollment through community behavioral change.