The Gender Affairs Division, in solidarity with the National Commission on Gender-Based Violence, joins the society at large in condemnation of gender-based violence, especially the increasing incidences of violence against women and children in public and private spheres.
The Gender Affairs Division strongly condemns the recent incidence of violence against Rodisha Bailey of Sayers, Mesopotamia, and Shania Johnson of Biabou, two (2) young women who were recently killed, amongst other brutal murders that have been taking place across the country lately. The culture of violence must never be condoned!
Although the Government of St. Vincent and the Grenadines has taken measures to develop laws, policies and programmes to respond to gender-based violence, it remains one of the most prevalent human-rights violations in St. Vincent and the Grenadines. Women and girls continue to experience domestic violence, brutal murder, rape and unwanted sexual remarks, ridicule, harassment, and assault in public. Violence against women harms families and communities across generations and reinforces other forms of violence prevalent in society. Violence also carries tremendous costs, from greater health care, legal expenses and losses in productivity that impacts the national budget, and overall development.
The Gender Affairs Division urges all stakeholders to strengthen efforts towards the prevention of violence in all spheres of society. We also urge all stakeholders to strengthen the productivity of women and children through the law and other policies. Effective prosecution of perpetrators is an important deterrent that must be reinforced. Strengthened provision of comprehensive services for survivors of violence in order to support their recovery remains urgent. This requires new and innovative measures including male involvement. With encouragement, men can challenge the deeply rooted inequalities and social norms that perpetuate men’s control and power over women that reinforce violence against women and children.
As we approach the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women that is commemorated on November 25 annually, and the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence from November 25 – December 10, 2018, I urge all Vincentians to promote a zero tolerance of violence against women and girls, and call for the elimination of all forms of gender-based violence in all spheres of society.