Parliamentary Committee Reviewing Legislation against Gender-Based Violence

Photo: Donald Delahaye Minister with responsibility for Information and Gender Affairs, Senator the Hon. Sandrea Falconer (right), converses with Opposition Spokesperson on Information, Sports, Entertainment, Gender Affairs and Culture, Olivia Grange (left), during the Sunday’s (November 22) commemorative church service, at Boulevard Baptist Church, St. Andrew, to launch the observance of International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women. Senator Falconer delivered a message on behalf of Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Portia Simpson Miller, whom she represented. Sharing the conversation is the Minister’s mother, Gertrude Falconer. International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women will be observed on Wednesday, November 25, under the theme: ‘Violence does not Discriminate: Unite to End Gender-Based Violence’.

Story Highlights

  • These include: the Sexual Offences Act; Domestic Violence Act; Offences against the Person Act; and Child Care and Protection Act.
  • Mrs. Simpson Miller also urged the nation to work towards engendering a culture of peace that will assist this endeavour.
  • The Prime Minister pointed out that the undertaking to end violence against women and girls required the full involvement of the nation’s boys and men.

Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Portia Simpson Miller, says a Joint Select Committee of Parliament is reviewing four pieces of legislation to determine the extent to which greater protection and redress can be provided for the society’s women and girls who are victims of gender-based violence.

These include: the Sexual Offences Act; Domestic Violence Act; Offences against the Person Act; and Child Care and Protection Act. The Prime Minister made the disclosure in message, which was read by Minister with responsibility for Information and Gender Affairs, Senator the Hon. Sandrea Falconer, during Sunday’s (November 22) church service at Boulevard Baptist Church, in St. Andrew, to launch the observance of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women.

The day will be commemorated on Wednesday, November 25, under the theme: ‘Violence does not Discriminate: Unite to End Gender-Based Violence’. Meanwhile, Mrs. Simpson Miller said the Government will continue to forge and strengthen stakeholder collaborations in a bid to eliminate gender-based violence.

She assured that her administration remains committed to engaging key interests, such as faith and community based organizations, and non-governmental and civil society organizations, on effective interventions that can be implemented.

This, she noted, is central to the Government’s commitment of safeguarding the welfare of all citizens. “Violence against women and girls impedes the development process and hinders efforts towards peace and security. Violence against women affects everyone in the society, and all must play a part in ending (it),” she emphasized.

Mrs. Simpson Miller also urged the nation to work towards engendering a culture of peace that will assist this endeavor. “We must seek to create a culture, where every action and every word represents, love, peace, and respect. We must retreat from a culture where violence is the answer, to a society where peace reconciliation and restorative justice are seen as our everyday practice,” she stated.

The Prime Minister pointed out that the undertaking to end violence against women and girls required the full involvement of the nation’s boys and men. In this regard, she invited them to “join with the Government of Jamaica and other concerned law abiding citizens, to stand up to those who seek to harm your mothers, sisters, and daughters.”

“It is time for us to speak up and speak even louder. Let our spirits soar, let our voices be heard, let us take a stand and say no more silence…let us change the culture of violence,” Mrs. Simpson Miller added.

For his part, Opposition Leader, Andrew Holness, in his message, said a “holistic approach” is pivotal in addressing the issue of violence against women and girls.

Mr. Holness’ message was read by Opposition Spokesperson on Information, Sports, Entertainment, Gender Affairs and Culture, Olivia Grange.

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