-Seeks support, as father escapes responsibility

By Vaye Lepolu

In September 2023, a 24-year-old woman named Rita Karmoh received a prophecy from a woman known as Mother Dee from Duala Montserrado County. The prophecy revealed that Rita’s pregnancy would result in the birth of three female children.

After receiving the prophecy, Rita informed her boyfriend, Armah Dukuly, who initially seemed supportive. However, a few days later, Dukuly began to deny that he was the father of the pregnancy and told Rita to find the real father. “in the same September, my boyfriend started to make confusion with me, saying he is not the owner of the pregnancy and I should go to look for my pregnancy owner”.

This led to a confrontation between Rita and Dukuly at his sister’s residence in Duala, where the police were eventually called. Rita was not arrested due to her pregnancy, but she, Dukuly, and his sister were later summoned to the police station.

At the station, Dukuly was instructed to take full responsibility for the pregnancy and the future care of the three children. Initially, Dukuly made a payment of 500 Liberian dollars towards this agreement, but he later disappeared, failing to fulfill his obligations. “From the first and second payments in September 2023 to present, he refused to give any thing and I can’t see, I don’t know where he live,” Rita told WomenVoices reporter.

As a result, she struggled financially, relying only on her mother’s income from backyard agriculture. On April 2, 2024, Rita gave birth to three girls, as predicted by Mother Dee’s prophecy. Now, Rita is appealing for support from the government of Liberia, local organizations, and individuals with a compassionate heart to help care for one of her three children. “I’m asking for help from anyone who’s able to help with one of my children to reduce condition.”

She believes that with sponsorship for one child, the others will also be able to thrive and live healthy. Rita can be reached at 0775287400 for anyone willing to offer assistance in alleviating her dire financial situation.

Women being abandoned with kids in Liberia

In Liberia, women being abandoned with pregnancy and children is unfortunately a common occurrence, often resulting from various factors such as poverty, lack of education, cultural beliefs, and the impact of the civil war that ravaged the country.

One of the main reasons for women being abandoned with pregnancy and children in Liberia is the high prevalence of teenage pregnancy. Many young girls become pregnant due to lack of access to comprehensive sex education, limited healthcare services, and cultural norms that may stigmatize contraception. When these young girls become pregnant, they are often abandoned by their partners or families, leaving them to fend for themselves and their children.

Additionally, the economic challenges in Liberia contribute to women being abandoned with pregnancy and children. Many women in Liberia face limited access to formal employment opportunities, leading to financial instability. When a woman becomes pregnant or has children, the additional financial burden can strain relationships, leading to abandonment by partners who are unable or unwilling to provide support.

Furthermore, the legacy of the civil war in Liberia has left many women widowed or separated from their partners, forcing them to raise children on their own. The trauma and displacement caused by the conflict have also had a lasting impact on the mental health and well-being of women, making it even more challenging for them to cope with the responsibilities of pregnancy and childcare.

In these situations, women abandoned with pregnancy and children often struggle to access essential healthcare services, education, and economic opportunities. They may rely on informal support networks within their communities or seek assistance from local NGOs and government agencies to meet their basic needs.

Article 24 of the PROTOCOL TO THE AFRICAN CHARTER ON HUMAN AND PEOPLES’ RIGHTS ON THE RIGHTS OF WOMEN IN AFRICA emphasizes women’s rights to Special Protection in distress or situation of such nature.

It says, “The States Parties undertake to: a) ensure the protection of poor women and women heads of families including women from marginalized population groups and provide an environment suitable to their condition and their special physical, economic and social needs; b) ensure the right of pregnant or nursing women or women in detention by providing them with an environment which is suitable to their condition and the right to be treated with dignity.”

Also, Article 25 (Remedies) states, “States Parties shall undertake to a) provide for appropriate remedies to any woman whose rights or freedoms, as herein recognized, have been violated; b) ensure that such remedies are determined by competent judicial, administrative or legislative authorities, or by any other competent authority provided for by law.”

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