Government to fight gender violence

| 24/11/2008

(CNS): A report frrom a Special Advisory Committee established to look at addressing violence against women, in the wake of the murder of Estella Scott Roberts will be handed over to the Cayman Islands Government tomorrow. According to the Leader of Government Business Kurt Tibbetts, the report will provide the government with short and long term solutions to strategically address this issue.

Tibbetts said government will receive the report at the official Opening Ceremony of the local ‘16 Days of Activism Campaign’ hosted by the Ministry of Health and Human Services on Tuesday 25 November, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, part of an international campaign ‘Say NO to Violence against Women’  initiated by the US based Center for Women’s Global Leadership in 1991.Cayman will be joining many other nations around the world to mark the day which is design to draw attention gender abuse and work toward its elimination.

 The local ‘16 Days of Activism Campaign Against Gender Abuse’ was initiated by the Business and Professional Women’s Club in 1996. “We are affected by being victims ourselves, by being family of victims, friends of victims, co-workers of victims and by the fact that we live in a community wheresomeone close to us is a victim,” said the Women’s Resource Centre who are also heavily involved in the various events.  The local campaign begins on the lawn of the Government Administration Building from 1:00-1:30pm.

The focus of the local campaign is to change community attitudes towards gender abuse by making it unacceptable in any form, to explore ways to help and support the victims and families of gender abuse and working towards getting more effective legislation in place in order to help to eradicate gender abuse in our community.  The report by the special committee is expected to form the basis for any new polices that are needed and Tibbetts said last week that following a review the recommendations, the Government will provide a response to the report, and make the findings public. 

Residents are also asked to sign the on-line petition www.sayNOtoviolence.org-UNIFEM’s goal is to obtain 1 million or more signatures before 25 November. The petition states:  “As many as one in 3 women and girls may be beaten, coerced into sex or otherwise abused in her lifetime.”

Tibbetts said that Global statistics paint a horrifying picture of the social and health consequences of violence against women. “According to UNIFEM, violence is a major cause of death and disability for women aged 15 to 44 years,” he said. “Unfortunately, we know all too well that our beloved Islands are not immune to this kind of violence against women.”

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