JIS News

Minister of Information, Culture, Youth and Sports, Olivia Grange, has said that in 2009, the Government will be developing an action plan to address gender-based violence.
“In the coming year, we will be seeking to develop a national plan of action on gender-based violence taking into consideration all the appropriate, comprehensive and protective measures and this will include legislation, better services for victims, stronger partnerships and increased efforts to engage our men and boys,” she informed, at a function held yesterday (Nov. 25), at the Terra Nova All Suite Hotel in Kingston, on the occasion of International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women (IDEVAW).
She said that the plan is in keeping with the fact that “the Government recognises all forms of violence against women as a contributor to a woman’s inability to enjoy her human rights and fully contribute to development on par with the men”.
Yesterday’s function marked the beginning of a 16-day campaign to draw attention to and encourage action against gender-based violence. A minute’s silence was observed in tribute to all the women, girls, men and boys, who have died as a result of violence.
The campaign, which ends on December 10, has been organised by the Bureau of Women’s Affairs in collaboration with other stakeholders, and will include public education, as well as gender sensitisation and training sessions, on issues relating to gender-based violence and human rights.
The objectives of the campaign are to: raise awareness about gender-based violence as a human rights issue at the local, national, regional and international levels; strengthen local work around violence against women; establish a clear link between local and international efforts to end violence against women and girls; provide a forum in which organisers can develop and share new and effective strategies while demonstrating the solidarity of women and girls around the world; and create tools to pressure Governments to eliminate violence against women and children.
In the meantime, Minister Grange informed that the ‘Sister to Sister Mediathon’ held in April, which raised millions of dollars to assist the efforts of the Women’s Centre of Jamaica Foundation and the Bureau of Women’s Affairs, to build more shelters for battered women, will continue and take the form of a live concert.
“The ‘Sister to Sister’ programme will continue. We’re going to move from it being a mediathon to it being a live concert, to having a CD produced and then a tour to support the CD, all in aid of raising funds to assist our women and girls,” she said.

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