IDEVAW: End Violence Against Women

Letters to the Editor

IDEVAW: End Violence Against Women

Wednesday, November 25, 2020

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Dear Editor,
The Institute for Gender and Development Studies Regional Coordinating Office (IGDS-RCO) of The University of the West Indies commemorates the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women (IDEVAW) and 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence, November 25 - December 10 (Human Rights Day) by hosting a number of activities to bring awareness and help to end this crime in our society.

Under the theme '2020 Unite: Orange the World: Fund, Respond, Prevent, Collect!', the United Nations system and activists worldwide acknowledge that women and girls face increasing threats to personal and collective security due to the escalating incidence of gender-based violence (GBV), which has been exacerbated by lockdown conditions being implemented to respond to the novel coronavirus pandemic.

In 2019, Jamaica recorded 1,329 murders, with a 3.7 per cent increase over the 47/100,000 2018 homicide rate, which maintains the northern Caribbean island's unenviable status as one of the top five murder capitals of the world. Violence against women and girls is also a spiralling scourge, as evidenced by 484 reported rape cases in 2019. Although the rape rate has been trending down, the statistic of 21.3/100,000 fails to capture the widespread traumatic effects of the expectation and experience of this violation.

The 16 Days of Activism commemoration was initiated in 1991 by the Women's Global Leadership Institute and constitute a focal point for women's global activism against GBV. In 1999, the UN declared November 25 IDEVAW to honour Minerva, Patria and Maria, the three Mirabal sisters — dubbed the butterflies — who were murdered on that date in 1960 by henchmen of Dominican Republic dictator Trujillo.

To mark the 16 Days of Activism, in solidarity with global efforts to prevent and eliminate GBV and promote safety for women and girls, the IGDS-RCO will host a calendar of activities from November 25 to December 10, 2020 and we invite all Jamaicans to participate with us.

Institute for Gender and Development Studies

Regional Headquarters

The University of the West Indies, Mona

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