JIS News

Minister of National Security, Senator the Hon.Dwight Nelson, has said that the Government remains committed to efforts to eradicate violence in all forms against women, including sexual violence.
“The Government will continue and is prepared to strengthen and enhance our input and assistance for the programmes in protection of women,” he stated.
Senator Nelson, who was speaking at a ‘Sexual Harassment (W) Rap Up’ forum held on Tuesday (April 21) at the Terra Nova Hotel in Kingston, said that “violence against women is a universal problem and one of the most widespread violations of human rights.”
He pointed to the need for the speedy implementation of legislation to address the issue, as for too long “our men have been acculturised to the notion that they have a right to sexually harass women.”
According to Senator Nelson, laws are “needed not only to protect women in marital relationships, not only to protect women at the workplace, but to protect our women in the households.”
He noted that studies have found that one in every three women will suffer from some form of violence in their lifetime, adding that “social scientists estimate that one third of women in civil society are victims of this epidemic that devastates lives, fractures communities and stall development.”
The social and the economic costs of violence against women are enormous and have ripple effects on society, Senator Nelson pointed out, as “women are likely to suffer isolation, inability to work, loss of wages, lack of participation in regular activities and limited ability to care for themselves and their children.”
The Ministry, he said, is playing its part in addressing the issue, and has taken a leading role in the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)-funded Jamaica Violence Prevention, Peace and Sustainable Development Programme.
This programme, he explained, is aimed at increasing the Government’s capacity to attain a more peaceful, secure and just society, by working in targeted communities. “Most importantly, it is a gender-based programme, which addresses gender security,” he pointed out, noting that the initiative “will take a gender sensitive approach to the problem of armed violence and insecurity in line with the UNDP’s eight point agenda for women’s empowerment and gender equality in crisis prevention and recovery.”
Senator Nelson, in the meantime, commended the Bureau of Women’s Affairs and all stakeholders involved in the forum for their continued role in highlighting the need for national action, which addresses violence against women generally and specifically “the disgusting and abhorrent manifestation of sexual harassment.”
“Their dedication, commitment and determination are a source of great inspiration to many of us,” he stated.
The forum, which was hosted by the Bureau in collaboration with the Women’s Media Watch, marks the culmination of a year-long programme aimed at enhancing public protection under laws and policies that address sexual offences, especially sexual harassment.