by Isatu Ville, World Student Christian Federation Delegate, Chair of Student Christian Movement of Liberia

The Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) is here again! The convergence of great women and men of the Christian faith under the umbrella of Ecumenical Women to participate along with other Civil Society organizations as well as Governments and Political Parties in presenting what becomes a final copy of the agreed conclusions on the theme of the conference.

This year, under the theme “eliminating and preventing all forms of violence against women and girls”, the World Student Christian Federation (WSCF) has brought a delegation of ten women to advocate at the CSW, including its General Secretary and representatives of affiliate student Christian Movements from  each of the WSCF’s  six regions (first time ever) and a partner from the Council for World Mission.

For the next two weeks, we’ll be sharing stories around our many different experiences and information on violation against girls and women and strategies that can be employed in our local contexts to addressing the epidemic, and advocating for governments to take these issues seriously.

In 2005, a chief in a remote village in West Africa went on his usual tour of the village and saw a young girl named Massa and became attracted to her at once. He then took her home and asked her to go to bed with him. The teenager named Massa refused and was butchered to death by the Chief. Her body was wrapped and disposed by the Chief. Being missed by her family, an announcement was sent around the town and a drunkard who unnoticeably was following the chief narrated the story of what had happened.

Nothing was done to the Chief on grounds that he was the “chief” and the matter was settled traditionally. Everyone in that town was asked not to speak about the matter ever after.

There are many Massas across the world! We need to stand up as women to ensure that their anguishes don’t go with impunity. I admonish all of us to learn and share our experiences to make the world a safe place for women, challenging those harmful traditional and cultural beliefs that only allow us to violate the rights of ourselves.

May God Help was these two weeks here at CSW and give us sound ideas as we all work towards a violent free world.