UN Women in Collaboration with Peace Hut women in Liberia has concluded a two-day validation workshop in Gbarnga, Bong County.
Speaking in an interview with this Paper UN Women National Consultant, Abraham Billy said the workshop was intended to validate the financial sustainability plan which was developed for Peace Hut Women in the country.
He said to sustain the peace hut initiative, UN Women integrated Village Saving and Loan Association is within the peace hut structure to contribute to the economic empowerment of women.
According to him, Village Saving and Loan Association is a unique saving-based microfinance program and it has been one of the leading economic development models in the developing countries for more than 20 years, noting that it covers the provision of financial services to low-income people who generally lack access to more formal banking services.
He said after almost a decade of support to peace huts, UN Women commissioned this study to assess the financial sustainability of peace huts in Liberia.
He revealed that the study utilized a mixed-method approach in collecting data to achieve this task, maintaining specifically a financial sustainability assessment tool was applied in diagnosing the financial sustainability of 35 peace huts across the Country.
The UN Women National Consultant said since 2009, UN Women and other donor agencies started constructing and supporting peace huts in various communities across Liberia in order to promote women’s participation in peacebuilding and enhance their economic wellbeing.
“The women-led home-grown initiative offered a space for women to engage in mediating local disputes, watchdog the police and justice services, prevent gender-based violence and refer sexual and Gender-Based Violence victims to support services. The methodology is based on the traditional ‘Palava’ hut system where the complainant and accused get to air their respective grievance and defense, then the local leader helps them reach an agreement that both consider fair and peace is restored,” Mr. Billy stressed.
The two days validation workshop was attended by 40 women from 14 of Liberia 15 counties.
The UN Women national consultant is at the same time calling on the national government to support women activity in the country, adding by doing so will help improve security and empowerment.
He believes that by empowering women in the country will also help improve economic activities because women will be able to provide for their household and in some instances, the government will be reducing poverty in the country.