Women in Liberia participated in the Thursdays in Black campaign by staging a peaceful demonstration in the streets of Margibi County against the growing waves of violence against women and girls.
In a report written by E Julu Swen from United Methodist News Service, Muriel V. Nelson, president of United Methodist Women in Liberia, said the issue of violence against women is not unique to The United Methodist Church. “This is an age-old global problem, so we must tackle it as a societal problem,” she said.
The women marched on 24 January, and every woman attending the 72nd annual session of United Methodist Women in Liberia wore black as a symbol of their support for the Thursdays in Black global advocacy initiative to counter gender violence and rape.
Nelson pointed out that what affects one woman affects all women, and it is the vision of United Methodist Women to turn faith, hope and love into action for women, children and youth.
“We will help victims of violence by providing safe homes, psychosocial counseling, legal services, medical services, livelihood skills, scholarships to pursue education, advocacy and awareness that will seek to end these vices against women and girls,” she said.
Pastor Rose R. Farhat said the group’s advocacy is for all women.
“We are the voice for the voiceless, and in our advocacy, we will include all women as we strive to make disciples for Jesus Christ and offer life in all its abundance to the Liberian people,” she said. “Through these partnerships, our support is primarily for scholarships and training activities that will empower women of the church and state.”
She encouraged women of The United Methodist Church in Liberia not to shield family members who are abusing their daughters through rape or other forms of abuse.
“Stop hiding the wrongs that are done to our young girls in the name of protecting your marriages,” she warned.
On 7 January, the World Council of Churches (WCC) began a special campaign leading up to Valentines Day, connecting it to Thursdays in Black. The WCC is inviting reflections and participation on social media, including encouraging people to use a special profile picture for Valentine’s Day.
Thursdays in Black “Valentine’s Day” focuses on “Love heals, not hurts” (WCC press release of 4 February 2019)