Press Releases

"Inheritance Law Not Protecting Women"...Attorney Deweh Gray

The President of the Association of Female Lawyers of Liberia (AFELL) Attorney Deweh Gray says Liberian women are still being denied property rights by their husbands in spite of the Inheritance Law.

She said the inability of some women to read and write denied them their shares of marital properties. She said the violation of women's inheritance rights is rampant in rural areas where access to institutional justice is scarce.

Attorney Gray was speaking Saturday at Liberia's Truth and Reconciliation Commission's (TRC) Thematic and Institutional Inquiry Public Hearings for Women at the Centennial Memorial Pavilion in Monrovia.

She called on Liberian women to ensure that their names are equally affixed on all property documents so that in a situation where there will be problems such as divorce, separation or death of a partner they will have access or titles.

The AFELL president said both the Statutory and Customary Laws of Liberia have the same weight under the Inheritance Law and that a will can be prepared in either one. She said that AFELL will not only advocate for the protection of women and children's rights but will equally facilitate their access to justice.

Madam Gray said women who took up arms during the civil conflict did not mean to engage in gun battle, saying, "they took up arms to protect their villages and homes from ruthless armed bandits."

She hailed the TRC public hearings process and described it as healthy because according to her it provides opportunities for people who did wrong to apologize publicly and bring relief to victims.

Under the theme: "Liberian Women and the Conflict Experience: Impact and Role in Peace Building and National Development" the hearing is aimed at addressing the experiences of women during the conflict, as well as the particular role that women play in peace building and post-war reconstruction. Organized by the TRC Committee on Gender, the women activities are funded by Women's Campaign International (WCI), a US based organization.

The TRC was agreed upon in the August 2003 peace agreement and created by the TRC Act of 2005.

The TRC was established to "promote national peace, security, unity and reconciliation," and at the same time make it possible to hold perpetrators accountable for gross human rights violations and violations of international humanitarian law that occurred in Liberia between January 1979 and October 2003.

Cclic This work is licensed under a Creative Commons
Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This had been the official website of the Liberian TRC. The Commission ended operation
in 2010. This website is maintained by the Georgia Institute of Technology.