Liberia

liberia

We are proud of our collaboration with women's rights organisation Liberia Women Media Action Committee (LIWOMAC) in Liberia. 

From 2012 to 2016, we have supported LIWOMAC to develop and use the media to promote women’s rights and development. Through a platform that links mobile phones to content from LIWOMAC’s radio station - Liberia Women Democracy Radio (LWDR FM 91.1) - marginalised and vulnerable women have been given access to high quality health and agriculture information. During the West African Ebola crisis, LIWOMAC reached millions of women and men with messaging on preventing and responding to the disease.

Although Liberia is not a current Womankind focus country, as our strategy is about working in greater depth to have the biggest impact possible, we continue to network, share learning and funding opportunities with our partners in Liberia and we advocate at the international level, alongside and in solidarity with partners across our network.

Below are some highlights of how we have supported our women's rights partners in Liberia:

Tackling the Ebola crisis

There were over 10,000 Ebola-related cases in Liberia in 2014, and almost 5,000 people died from the disease, according to the Centers for Disease and Control Prevention.

The traditional role of women as caregivers to the young, sick and older people has increased their burden and risk of exposure to the virus.

In patriarchal societies such as Liberia, discrimination and violence against women and girls also often increase during times of crisis.

With our help, our partner Liberia Women Media Action Committee (LIWOMAC) worked on:

  • Producing and broadcasting campaigns on how to prevent Ebola on radio and television
  • Creating ‘listening clubs’ where women can get information on their rights and national developments
  • Lobbying the government to provide accurate data so it can assess the impact of Ebola on women and girls.

Women in the media

Laws that protect women’s rights in Liberia are weakly enforced. Reported crimes against women are often not fully investigated, and many authority figures, including police offers, lack the necessary resources and skills to deliver justice.

The role of the media is critical in exposing the injustices faced by women, and to give them a voice. The Liberian media, however, is male dominated with women accounting for just five per cent of editorial leadership positions.

This means that issues affecting women are rarely highlighted. This adds to women, especially in rural areas, being unable to engage in processes and decisions that directly affect their livelihood, peace and security.

LIWOMAC works with media so it can help women learn about their rights and challenge traditional attitudes.

With our support, the organisation has:

  • Operated Liberia Women’s Democracy Radio (LWDR FM 91.1), the only radio station in the country run by women for women
  • Trained and mentored women in the media so that issues concerning women are brought to the forefront of political debate
  • Developed radio programmes on legal rights, inheritance laws, rape and forced marriage to educate women and girls, especially those in rural communities
  • Used radio to motivate women to become involved in politics
  • Helped women and girls to hold the authorities to account through community-based forums and radio phone-ins
  • Developed guidance for authorities, including the police, on how to deal effectively with cases of violence against women and girls.
“LIWOMAC training gave me a better understanding of the barriers that prevent women from participating and how it can be challenging for women to find the confidence to compete in a male dominated field.” Felicia
thumb-LIWOMAC-logo

Liberia Women Media Action Committee (LIWOMAC)

  • Liberia
  • Africa
LIWOMAC aims to empower women to fight inequalities and participate in governance at the household, community and national levels.
Read More

Our impact in Liberia

Thanks to our work with LIWOMAC in Liberia:

  • 35 print and radio journalists have learned about women’s rights, resulting in more sensitive reporting and an increase in stories that focus on issues that affect women.
  • The proportion of female journalists in the Liberian media increased from 13 per cent in 2010 to 22 per cent in 2014.
  • The Liberian National Police are drafting a handbook for police investigators on how to respond to female survivors of violence, especially rape.
  • Over 200 women have taken part in community forums reviewing the National Constitution.
  • Approximately 1,254,743 men and women were reached through radio and TV discussions about women’s rights.

Find out more about our impact