ST GEORGE’S, Grenada — A student-oriented event is scheduled for next week as Grenada continues its 2019 observance of “16 Days of Activism against Gender-based Violence’’.
The activities, which run until December 10, are being spearheaded by the ministry of social development, housing, and community empowerment. The theme of the observance is, “Generation Equality Stands Against Domestic and Sexual Violence”.
According to a ministry news release, the objectives of the period of observance include engaging youth people to confront violence against women and children; discussing “ways in which the ministry can become more gender-responsive in its work with families and communities’’; and reflecting on “commitments and accomplishments made to address domestic and sexual violence’’.
“As we reflect, we note that Grenada has made steady progress to confront domestic and sexual violence, but there is more to be done. Currently, the attorney general and ministry of legal affairs are leading a process for the reform of legislation to address gaps in holding offenders accountable,’’ the news release said.
The legal affairs ministry was commended for its efforts and in the release, an appeal is made to the “entire community to give support to the law reform process to ensure that those who are found guilty of sexual abuse receive a measure of penalty that truly serves as a deterrent. Offenders and potential offenders of rape, sexual assault, and related offences must become aware that these are serious crimes, and they will be penalised appropriately. We are committed to breaking the culture of rape and sexual abuse’’.
Activities for next week include an event, titled “Generation Equality in Action’’, on Tuesday, December 3, for secondary schools in St Andrew.
On December 5, the staff of the ministry of social development and Housing, together with field officers from SEED – Support for Education, Empowerment, and Development – will host a “Gender Sensitisation Workshop”.
The activities in Grenada began shortly after the country’s participation in a global conference in Africa. The 25th International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD), in Kenya, examined issues such as gender equality; zero sexual and gender-based violence and harmful practices against women and girls; and sexual and reproductive health and rights.
Grenada’s representatives at the ICPD meeting were Elaine Henry-McQueen, senior programme officer for gender and family affairs, and foreign affairs minister Peter David.
“Grenada will implement coordinated interventions to address gaps in the provision of multi-sectoral short-term and long-term responses to victims of sexual and intimate partner violence,” said David, who not only addressed the conference but also held bilateral talks with Kenyan foreign minister, Monica Juma.
Grenada is a signatory to regional and international agreements that commit the country to adopt measures to stop and prevent all forms of discrimination and violence against women and girls.
“Sexual and domestic violence must be made a thing of the past,’’ says the ministry of social development, housing, and community empowerment.