UN Women calls for immediate actionUN Women Operations Director, Yawo Mensah Magio, said incidents of sexual violence against women and girls continue to escalate, with 1,028 of cases reported for the period between January to June this year alone.Magio made the statement yesterday, November 13, when UN Women donated office supplies to the Sexual and Gender Based Violence (SGBV) Unit of the Liberia National Police (LNP), in order to strengthen the country’s prosecution services.The donation was a part of the activities outlined in the government and United Nations Joint Program to respond to and prevent SGBV and harmful traditional practices in the country.The fund was provided by Sweden Embassy through the Swedish International Development Cooperation (SIDA).Magio added, “We are alarmed by these increasing numbers, and wonder why women and girls continue to be violated, with perpetrators walking with impunity. This is a concern for everyone who may have a girl child, because it is very serious.”He said violence against women and girls is one of the most serious, pervasive and widespread crime in the country.Magio said that one in three women and girls experiences physical or sexual violence at some point in life, “because in Liberia, violence against women and girls has been deeply entrenched in social and cultural landscape, yet it remains one of the least crimes for which the perpetrators are never prosecuted.”He said all forms of violence against women and girls are human rights-related matters and that it is an impediment to the advancement of women and girls.The issue of sexual and gender-based violence and harmful traditional practices, according to Magio, requires a multifaceted approach involving all stakeholders, civil society organizations, government, the international community, religious leaders and youth.“It is our fervent hope that these supplies will strengthen your capacity to ensure the safety and protection of our girls and women, ensuring that perpetrators are brought before a court and prosecuted for crimes against women and girls,” Magio said.Upon receiving the items, the Division Director of the SGBV Unit, John Africanus Aquoi Gabriel, expressed gratitude to UN Women, promising to use the items not only in Monrovia but across the country.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
“I know Mark has been getting pestered pretty hard with the same question about his upcoming schedule,” said Joe Nemechek, Martin’s teammate and driver of the No. 13 Chevrolet at Ginn Racing. “But he’s a pro and will handle the attention with the same kind of ease as he does with a race car. We’re all happy for his success – nobody deserves it more.” Bobby Ginn, one of the owners of Ginn Racing, said the door is open for Martin to run a full season. Driver Regan Smith is supposed to be in the No. 01 Chevrolet for Ginn Racing at Bristol. But if Martin changes his mind and wants to race, Ginn said he will have cars ready for both drivers at Bristol. Even Smith has said it would be a difficult decision to get out of the race car if he was leading the standings. Busch said Martin has been the best racer after two races. But it may be too early to tell if he has a championship-caliber team. “You have to look at the points as a book of races, and after 10 races, if he’s leading, definitely pull the trigger, jump on in and do what you can to run all the races,” said Busch, who drives the No. 2 Dodge for Penske Racing South. “It’s definitely an interesting situation, but you have to look at the points in a broader scale and not just two races.” When the Cup drivers first visited Las Vegas Motor Speedway in 1998, Mark Martin won the race. He was driving for Roush Racing back then, the top contender for a team that seemed cursed in its pursuit of a NASCAR Cup championship. Then Matt Kenseth won the first of back-to-back championships for Roush Racing in 2003, the last of the Winston Cup championships. Kurt Busch followed, the first to win NASCAR’s Chase, the 10-race playoff to determine the Cup champion. It doesn’t look like Martin is going to change his mind. He is determined to run a part-time schedule and seems happy with his situation. Then again, after finishing second in the Daytona 500, he added the Pepsi 400, which is run at Daytona International Speedway in July, to his list of races. Another strong finish in Vegas, and a bigger lead in the standings, may be enough for Martin to reconsider. “I think it’s really awesome,” Martin said about leading the Cup standings. “We were able to contend for the win in each of the first two races, and that says a great deal about Ginn Racing and the U.S. Army Team.” Despite his team’s early success, Martin said it’s too early to get excited. “We’ve had fast cars and the guys have been stellar on pit road,” Martin said. “We still have a ways to go at Ginn Racing, but we are sure headed in the right direction.” 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! But Martin, who has qualified for the Chase all three years of its existence, fell short. When the 2006 season ended, so did his run with Roush Racing. Martin switched teams, moving to Ginn Racing, and the promise of being able to run a partial Cup schedule. Now Martin is faced with a bit of a dilemma. He is leading the Cup standings, the first time a Ginn Racing driver has ever done so, and he is going to a track where he has been successful in the past. But he has no plans to pursue a Cup championship. Martin does not want to race at Bristol Motor Speedway, the fifth race of the season, on March 25. If he decides not to race, he will take himself out of championship contention.