Grange leads violence against women, children fight

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Grange leads violence against women, children fight

BY BALFORD HENRY
Senior staff reporter
balfordh@jamaicaobserver.com

Monday, November 23, 2020

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Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport Olivia “Babsy” Grange yesterday announced Jamaica's participation in this year's United Nation-led annual two-week-long campaign to draw attention to violence against women and children.

The campaign, titled '16 Days of Activism for No Violence Against Women and Children', follows closely on the heels of the celebration of International Men's Day (IMD), forms the centre point of the comprehensive 365 days of activism protesting violence against women and children.

The 16 days start November 25 and continues through to December 10, bringing attention to the level of violence against women, but will also address the issue of violence against men in the society.

“We will be working in partnership with the men to fight the scourge of women, against our girls and also against our boys. And it will in fact cover a broad sphere of violence against both men and women,” she informed the Jamaica Observer following her speech at the Youth Sunday Service at the Power of Faith Church in Portmore, St Catherine.

“Women are larger number of victims of violence. Men are the largest number of perpetrators of this violence, and what we are trying to do is to partner with the men to try to eliminate this,” she said.

Grange said she was happy that last week's celebration of IDM showed the potential to attract more public attention to male gender violence issues.

“That's where out intentions are headed. We plan to expand the reach and to celebrate it and make it as prominent as we do when we celebrate International Women's Day (IWD),” she noted.

She said that, in addition, the ministry's Bureau of Gender Affairs will seek to keep celebrating beyond the specific day, and include lengthier programmes like the 16 Days of Activism.

She added that through the bureau, her ministry has started dialogue with various churches, to increase their sensitisation of the matter of gender violence.

In her message to yesterday's service in Portmore, Grange made a special appeal to the men in the congregation to put their shoulders to the wheel, in the effort to build a Jamaica that works for women. An empowered woman complements a man.

“I thank the pastors and members of the Power of Faith Church for being key partners in the national response to gender-based violence …and to pray for the households that are in turmoil because of gender-based violence,” she said.

“Let us remember that the UN secretary-general's UNiTE by 2030 to End Violence against Women campaign is marking these 16 Days of Activism against gender-based violence, from November 25 to December 10, under the global theme, 'Orange the World: Fund, Respond, Prevent, Collect!'.”

Among the speakers was MCGES permanent secretary Denzil Thorpe, who gave a special scripture reading, while an overview of the bureau was given by its principal director Sharon Coburne Robinson.


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