SVG represented at gender violence  seminar in Florida
December 18, 2012

SVG represented at gender violence seminar in Florida

A group of delegates represented St Vincent and the Grenadines at a Caribbean Rule of Law dialogue in the United States from December 11 to 13.{{more}}

This meeting, held at Florida International University, brought together many stakeholders to discuss issues of gender based violence in the Caribbean, especially violence against women and ways to respond and prevent these acts.

Minister of National Mobilization Frederick Stevenson told SEARCHLIGHT that Rosina Wiltshire, CARICOM advocate for gender justice, pointed out that 64 per cent of young people in the Caribbean are less than 30 years old and 30 per cent are affected by issues of gender based violence.

Stevenson mentioned that trade unionist Joseph Burns Bonadie was among the many persons who made presentations and that Bonadie’s presentation focused on the cost of gender based violence in the workplace and public awareness as it relates to the media.

The minister highlighted that all countries that were present were required to work out a plan of action to eliminate gender based violence.

And, as the leading ministry for dealing with gender based violence, National Mobilization will be responsible for compiling a high level team to devise a plan of action early in the New Year.

“We’re hoping that we would have several consultations throughout St Vincent and the Grenadines to speak on the issue and allow persons to come forward and share issues affecting them as it relates to gender based violence,” Stephenson said.

The drafts of this project involve a heavy taskforce, including magistrates, police, civil society and government departments such as the Ministries of Finance and National Reconciliation, Stevenson said.

The media, churches and National Youth Council are among others that the ministry hopes to use in order to put the plan into action.

In addition to Stevenson, Justice Gertel Thom, Director of Public Prosecutions Colin Williams, acting President of the Family Court Rechanne Matthias, Assistant Commissioner of Police Frankie Joseph and Inspector Nigel Butcher made up the Vincentian delegation.

This delegation was the largest at the seminar, Stevenson told SEARCHLIGHT.

“We felt it is very important to us to have sent this high level team because of the issues and the importance of the issues to ourselves and St Vincent and the Grenadines,” the minister said.

He stressed the importance of eliminating gender based violence, especially against women and girls, saying that “we do not want to be a country on the map where it is not safe for women and girls”. (BK)