Gender Minister Signs Deal To Tackle Gender-Based Violence

Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the Honourable Olivia Grange (centre) participates in signing of MOU between her Ministry and UN Women towards the implementation of the National Strategic Action Plan to Eliminate Gender-based Violence. Also participating in the signing of the MOU are Representative of Multi-Country Office of the Caribbean Representative, Alison McLean (left) and Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Denzil Thorpe (right). Looking on are Marcia Ladine of UN Women (second left) and Sharon Robinson of the Bureau of Gender Affairs.

The Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the Honourable Olivia Grange, has announced that her Ministry will be getting funding support from UN Women towards the implementation of the National Strategic Action Plan to Eliminate Gender-based Violence.

The Minister made the comment as she signed a Memorandum of Understanding between her ministry and the UN Women Multi-Country Office of the Caribbean.

The National Strategic Action Plan to Eliminate Gender-based Violence is a ten-year programme of activities — which is being implemented across the whole of government — with specific targets towards eliminating this horrendous crime.  The Plan has a series of actions to prevent violence, protect and deliver adequate services to victims and to deal appropriately with perpetrators.

“It’s great that the Ministry now has a partner who is assisting Government in funding these projects,” said Minister Grange. “This MOU is going to have a far-reaching impact on the Government’s effort to fight gender-based violence.”

She explained that under the MOU, UN Women will assist with the development of a public education campaign titled ‘No Excuse For Abuse’ which will take the anti-violence message to communities across the country.

Minister Grange said: “The public education programme that will follow the signing of this MOU will address areas like prevention, protection, investigation and enforcement.  The campaign which speaks to ‘No Excuse for Abuse’ is a message that is going to be carried far and wide.  We want to get into the communities right across Jamaica.  We will be using Government information bodies such as the JIS and the CPTC but it’s going to be an all-media campaign.”

The UN Women Multi-Country Office of the Caribbean Representative, Alison McLean, said the MOU represented a continuation of the agency’s collaboration with the Government to eliminate gender-based violence. UN Women had assisted the Government to develop the National Strategic Action Plan.

Mrs McLean said: “In this particular phase we will be working with the Bureau [of Gender Affairs] as project manager and the Ministry along with JIS and CPTC to develop a campaign around gender-based violence using the data we have gleaned from the Women’s Health Survey that for the first time gives us definitive data on violence against women (gender-based violence), and its effect on families and communities in Jamaica.”

Among other things, the Women’s Health Survey found that one in every four women in Jamaica has experienced physical violence by a male partner; that a quarter of women had been sexually abused by men who are not their intimate partners; that one out of every five women reported being sexually abused before reaching 18 years old and that the main perpetrators were family and friends.

The MOU will be in effect for three years.

By Franklin McKnight

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