My perspective on Ending violence against women
By: Sir Godfrey Gregg
Violence against women and girls is a grave violation of human rights. Its impact ranges from immediate to long-term multiple physical, sexual, and mental consequences for women and girls, including death. It negatively affects women’s general well-being and prevents women from fully participating in society. Violence not only has negative consequences for women but also for their families, the community, and the country at large. It has tremendous costs, from greater health care and legal expenses and losses in productivity, impacting national budgets and overall development.
Decades of mobilizing by civil society and women’s movements have put ending gender-based violence high on national and international agendas. An unprecedented number of countries have laws against domestic violence, sexual assault, and other forms of violence. Challenges remain however in implementing these laws, limiting women and girls’ access to safety and justice. Not enough is done to prevent violence, and when it does occur, it often goes unpunished.
I am calling on the good citizens of our country, organizations, churches, and other groups to press the government, and your representatives to pass laws and enforce them to save the women and girls of our country. Women and girls have been abused, raped, and left unnoticed. Many times the people that are to protect are sometimes the big abusers.
These are some of the Solutions
Women’s right to live free from violence is upheld by international agreements such as the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women.
The Government of St. Vincent and the Grenadines to strengthen the laws or make the existing laws stronger. That the laws not just be written in books, but that they are enforced and punishable by laws where possible.
Women’s Affairs must come to the forefront of the ministry and not only a desk. More than half the population in St. Vincent and the Grenadines are women and girls and very little is heard about the actions of the Ministry which is headed by a MAN.
That the Government join a task force with the neighbouring islands, civil society organizations and other institutions to advocate for ending violence, increase awareness of the causes and consequences of violence and build the capacity of partners to prevent and respond to violence.
We also promote the need for changing norms and behaviour of men and boys and advocate for gender equality and women’s rights.
Women around the world support expanding access to quality multi-sectoral responses for survivors covering safety, shelter, health, justice and other essential services.
Policy guidance helps to step up investments in prevention—the most cost-effective, long-term means to stop the violence.
Let us as a nation work with Governments to develop dedicated a national action plan to prevent and address violence against women and girls, strengthening coordination among diverse actors required for sustained and meaningful action.
There needs to be some serious actions for women and girls post covid-19. Jobs, housing and training will help them as they continue to be the support of the home.