LiNCSA to Mainstream Gender into all Aspects of Firearms Management

The Liberia National Commission on Small Arms, (LiNCSA) concluded a one day workshop on Mainstreaming Gender in all Aspects of Firearms Management in the country.  The resounding theme of the workshop is to integrate a balanced gender perspective at all levels of the Commission.  The workshop is a display of Liberia’s commitment to comply with and domesticate international instruments that seek to empower women on the basis of gender mainstreaming and was supported by the Gender and Security National Taskforce, medica Liberia, United Nations Development Programme and the United Nations Women.
The one-day workshop aimed to sensitize the entire workforce of LiNCSA to develop strategic planning capacities, evidence-based knowledge, communication skills and to further mainstream gender within all projects and actions of the Commission.

In his welcome remarks, Commissioner Benoni E. Knuckles expressed his appreciation to the United Nations Development Programme, Gender and Security Taskforce, medica Liberia and United Nation Women for the support given to the Commission’s Gender Unit.  He informed the participants that LiNCSA is in full support of activities leading to gender mainstreaming, stressing that the Commission has an important role to play in the national security arrangement of the state. The one-day workshop, according to Commissioner Knuckles, set the stage for LiNCSA’s proactive involvement in the empowerment and improvement of women’s welfare, especially at all levels of making decision.

The Gender Focal Person, Miss Blessing W. Bornor, informed the participants that the Gender Unit of LiNCSA was established in May 2017 to champion gender equity within all small arms unit of Government security institutions.  Miss Bornor stated that the cardinal function of LiNCSA’s Gender Unit is to ensure gender mainstreaming in the Commission’s policy and practices, systematically.  She indicated that gender does not only speak to the issues of women, stressing that women have played, and are prepared to play strong and important roles in the advancement of society.

For her part, Atty. Yah Parwon of medica Liberia said significant gains have been made in the area of capacity building for institutions that are gender sensitive. Atty. Parwon told participants that the focus of medica Liberia is to end violence against women in all forms.
She encouraged security institutions to work towards gender mainstreaming in all of their policies, with focus on administrative structures and programs.  She concluded by emphasizing medica Liberia’s commitment to support institutions that are gender sensitive.

Representatives from the Ministry of Justice, Sexual and Gender-based Violence- Crimes Unit, Linda Barrolle Saygbe, and Gender and Security National Taskforce Coordinator, Maude Somah, lauded the Commission for establishing a gender unit to address gender issues.  The two Experts expressed the hope that security institutions will live up to the expectations of gender mainstreaming.

Four facilitators from both government and Non-governmental circles made presentations on different subject matters. The first presentation on Gender Mainstreaming was done by Madam Maude Somah, Coordinator of the Gender and Security National Taskforce. Her presentation focused on, UN Security Council Resolution 1325. Mr.Yaya Sackor of medica Liberia reviewed the concept of Gender Based Violence. Mr. Sackor informed participants that women are mostly at risks and the victims of Gender Based Violence.

For her part, the Director of Programs of LiNCSA, Mrs. Vivian Dogbeh, presented on Gender and Arms Control. Madam Dogbey said it is an important step to involve women in the process of arms control and to ensure that policies are mainstreamed to include women in all functions of society.  Mrs. Linda Barrolle Saygbe of the Sexual and Gender-based Violence Crimes Unit of the Ministry of Justice presented on Sexual Harassment at work places. Madam Saygbe emphasized that it was wrong for men to use their power at work places for ‘love affairs’.   
The one-day workshop on Gender Mainstreaming featured the following security institutions: Ministry of Justice, Liberia Drugs Enforcement Agencies, Liberia National Police, Liberia Immigration Service and the Liberia Fire Service in addition to employees of the Liberia National Commission on Small Arms.