- Marion is in the US seeking asylum after fleeing Liberia. Marion has spoken out about the mistreatment and violence against women and children in her native country. With a group of five female advocates, she went to a village to speak about the gruesome practice of Female Genital Mutilation, which happens to roughly 45% of the female population in Liberia. She was attacked by a crowd of people, kidnapped, and taken to the bush where she was violently beaten and left to die. One member of her party of five women did not survive the attack. Following this event, she had to flee. She continues her crusade for the rights of women and children now from US soil, but has had to leave her own family behind in Liberia.
“I am Marion from Liberia. I’m here in America trying to see how I can patch my life back. I live in the United States now. What makes me feel strong now as a woman is advocating for the rights of children and especially young girls. With the situation in my country there has been a lot of chaos and a lot of women who do not have a husband anymore – they become widows and their children were supported by their parents but then there are no more parents – they are orphans – so for this reason some of them become prostitutes as a means of surviving. Myself and other women who were raped during the crisis – we still come together to talk to these children. They are in tears and we come to them we talk to them and we try to get them to believe that they can get back on course with their lives. What’s made me strong is advocating for the rights of women and children in society. There is a lot of vulnerability for women and children in Liberia – it is a constant. There’s a sub standard of living conditions in our country and we have women selling their children in the streets. They’re not sending them to school and these children are deprived of their educational rights and they are used by their parents as a breadwinner. I lobby for these children with International organizations to see these issues addressed by the government, anyway necessary.
I was victimized because I took on traditional harmful practices (FGM) and I said that these harmful practices should be denounced by the government. I was a victim of violence but still I encourage other people to be strong so we can be in a better society and I hope I can be strong in America so that I can work here with people who will be able to help me to contribute to the empowerment of women and girls worldwide because that’s my passion. I want to network with people here to have my vision accomplished today.”