November 23, 2012
Message on the occasion of International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women

Fri, Nov 23, 2012

by Kaskie Miguel
2nd Vice President/National Council of Women

The National Council of Women of St Vincent and The Grenadines is deeply concerned about the persistent burden of grief on families and communities, as the scourge of violence against women and girls continues. While recent newspaper reports speak of the rape of two young women at gunpoint by a single male perpetrator, the same papers carry reports of severe sentencing for crimes of this nature – yet the violence continues.{{more}} The National Council of Women therefore calls on women to recognize their value and human rights, and seek help towards terminating abusive relationships.

While women should take advantage of training opportunities to become more economically self-sufficient, the value of women’s work within the home must be recognized by men, and by women themselves. In an economically challenged atmosphere, women are urged to continue to use their special talent in spending wisely, and living within their means. The National Council of Women makes a particular appeal to young women to value themselves, project a positive image and make use of the social media in ways that will promote healthy and positive development.

In March of this year, this country held its first National Congress of Women, and an important component was “Peace and Security”. The National Council of Women re-iterates the call of Congress participants for the need to:-

(a) Develop a legislative agenda for the development and implementation of laws for the protection of women, and the prevention of domestic violence

(b) Ensure that cases of domestic violence and sexual abuse are investigated and prosecuted by the State when incidents are reported by concerned citizens or victims, and provide safe houses for the victims.

(c) Facilitate public education and provide training on domestic violence intervention/prevention methods and on conflict resolution in general

(d) Provide a secure, humane and rehabilitative facility for female prisoners and ensure that their children, wards or dependents are not neglected or disadvantaged as a result of their incarceration.

(e) Establish or strengthen accountable, supervisory and monitoring systems to ensure that women and girls within the custody of the criminal system are not subjected to sexual assaults and exploitation.

The National Council of Women calls on authorities to support women’s rights to a life free of violence, and make a further tangible commitment by tabling the Statement from the First National Congress of Women in the House of Parliament.