Gov’t Finalises National Action Plan to Eliminate Gender-Based Violence

Photo: Rudranath Fraser The Hearing Hearts Sign Language Group performs during Sunday’s (March 12) National Commemorative Church Service to mark International Women’s Day. The service was held at Faith Cathedral Deliverance Centre on Waltham Park Road in Kingston under the theme: ‘Unite to End Gender-based Violence’. It culminated a week of activities marking the Day, which was observed on March 8 under that theme.

Story Highlights

  • The Government has finalised a National Strategic Action Plan to eliminate Gender-Based Violence (GBV) in Jamaica, particularly against women and girls.
  • This was announced by Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport Minister, Hon. Olivia Grange, who said the Plan will be sent to Cabinet shortly for consideration.
  • “We are committed to assuring our women and girls that we will take appropriate action to provide the most practical and cost effective response; and of course, this will also apply to violence against males,” she said.

The Government has finalised a National Strategic Action Plan to eliminate Gender-Based Violence (GBV) in Jamaica, particularly against women and girls.

This was announced by Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport Minister, Hon. Olivia Grange, who said the Plan will be sent to Cabinet shortly for consideration.

She made the announcement in a message delivered by Government Senator, Dr. Saphire Longmore, during the International Women’s Day commemorative church service held today (March 12) at the Faith Cathedral Deliverance Centre, 104 Waltham Park Road, Kingston.

The service, organized by the Centre in collaboration with the Ministry, was held under the theme, ‘Unite to End Gender-based Violence’.

Ms. Grange said the Plan provides for an integrated multi-sectoral and structural approach to addressing the key issues and challenges of GBV relating to victims, perpetrators and witnesses of acts of violence, through social inclusion and partnership.

“We are committed to assuring our women and girls that we will take appropriate action to provide the most practical and cost effective response; and of course, this will also apply to violence against males,” she said.

Ms. Grange said the Church has a role to play in “ensuring that our homes are not battle fields, but safe havens.”

She stated that the Church can provide support by organizing GBV sensitization and awareness sessions, promoting responsible leadership and support groups.

“It is useful to obtain training in domestic violence and other forms of GBV and how to respond to these situations,” she added.

The Minister further urged the Church to provide information on GBV, based on religious scriptures and teachings.

“Lead by example. Model healthy relationships, break cultural stereotypes and emphasize that women must be treated with dignity and respect, as in the image of God,” she added.

In her message, Associate Pastor of the Faith Cathedral Deliverance Centre, Rev. Dr. Alma Blair, called on Jamaicans to stand up against gender-based violence and help in protecting each other.

“This violence against women and murder of our people must stop. We must stand up together. Stand up and fight for a better Jamaica, for a better community, for better homes,” she said.
Dr. Blair urged every Jamaican to come on board report the perpetrators of violence and abuse to the police.

“We need to turn them in. Turn them in if they are beating up their women, turn them in if they are making threats, turn them in if they are raping our daughters. If it is your mother, your father, your sister or your brother, turn them in. It is time we stop shielding these (perpetrators),” she said.

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