Today, Jamaica joins the global celebration of International Women’s Day.
This is a day of celebration but also an occasion for sober reflection.
Even as we acknowledge and applaud our significant contribution to national development and the pivotal roles that women have played and continue to play in this society, this year we have chosen to focus on a major issue that stymies our national development, is not compatible with our prosperity agenda and is an obstacle to women’s achievement — I speak of gender-based violence.
The numerous reports of violence against women and girls in recent times is cause for concern.
These acts of brutality against our women and girls must stop. They are unacceptable and we must do all we can to ensure that the perpetrators are caught and punished under the law. We must protect and provide redress for victims; and we must do all we can to end the violence.
The Government of Jamaica is serious about ending the violence. Prime Minister, The Most Honourable Andrew Holness has made it quite clear that the Administration has zero tolerance for domestic violence and sexual abuse; and that the national crime plan will target those horrific crimes, especially.
Additionally, my Ministry has finalised a 10-year National Strategic Action Plan to eliminate Gender-based Violence. The plan sets out a ten-year programme to be implemented across the whole of government, and with specific targets towards eliminating this horrendous crime.
However, the success of the National Strategic Action Plan to eliminate Genderbased Violence will depend on partnerships. Partnerships across government, with other governments, with international agencies, with the private sector and with every woman and man in Jamaica.
The violence is not inevitable and therefore we can end it. However, it requires all of us to end the violence. Each person ,without exception, has a role to play in ending all forms of violence.
In the spirit of this year’s theme – ‘Unite to End Gender-based Violence’ – I invite the entire nation to recommit to playing a role in ending the violence.
Be bold for change. You can do something to end gender violence. You have the power to make a better world for us all.
Olivia Grange, CD, MP
Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport
Article by: Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment & Sport
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