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“Chicken Soup” Tackles Gender-Based Violence in Liberia

Liberian women are sensitizing men about gender violence at a community center called the Chicken Soup Factory. The center, located on the outskirts of the capital, Monrovia, is named for a business that used to operate there. It also works with women, teaching them how to identify gender violence and refer its victims to the appropriate services for help.

Getrude Garway works with the International Rescue Committee (IRC) as the coordinator of its Gender Violence Program in Liberia. She said the center promotes awareness and sensitizes men to the serious physical and mental consequences of violence.

Garway said the name stems from a factory that produced bullion cubes for chicken-flavored soup. She said for two and a half years, women and children from communities around Lofa County who were displaced by war have come to the factory area looking for shelter, “knowing that people who travel from one location to another pass through a lot of difficulties, are abused in one way or another, and suffer from gender-based violence.”

Garway said the Chicken Soup Factory is a strong women’s group, working with women in surrounding communities. She said it has adopted a constitution and by-laws, and has a social worker present five days a week.