Basseterre, St. Kitts, November 25, 2022 (SKNIS): Nationals and residents of St. Kitts and Nevis are strongly encouraged to speak out and stand up against all forms of gender-based violence. Awareness about gender-based violence comes even more into focus from November 25 to December 10, when the world marks 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence Against Women and Girls.
Junior Minister responsible for Social Development and Gender Affairs, the Honourable Isalean Phillip, is among the national leaders bringing greater awareness to the global observance and the local commemoration. She made a national address on Friday (November 25, 2022) to mark the start of the 16-day observance.
“Violence against women and girls is considered the most widespread and pervasive human rights violation worldwide. In fact, 1 in 3 women and girls have been affected by some form of physical, sexual, financial or emotional violence in their lives,” the Junior Minister stated, citing recent global estimates indicating that a woman or girl is killed by someone in her own family every 11 minutes. “In St. Kitts alone, during the pandemic, reports of domestic violence increased by over four hundred percent.”
Honourable Phillip said that global drives such as the United Nation’s UniTE by 2030 to End Violence Against Women” initiative increases global action to combat gender-based violence. She also mentioned the #MeToo movement, which successfully exposed the prevalence of sexual harassment and other forms of violence against women, particularly in work environments.
“Today (Friday) the Ministry and Department of Social Development and Gender Affairs, along with local non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and community service organizations (CSOs) join the global 16 days of activism campaign to remember victims who lost their lives to gender-based violence, to echo support to survivors and to raise awareness of the problem so we can work towards solutions that help to reduce incidents and change the culture of violence and abuse that exists,” the Junior Minister said.
Persons were encouraged to wear orange during the period. The colour is used to symbolize the international commemoration, which aims to achieve a future free from violence against females. Minister Phillip urged persons who need help to reach out to the Special Victims Unit at 662-7077. Social assistance is available by calling 765-5492, while mental health support from the National Counseling Centre can be accessed at 465-5000.
The 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence Federal Launch took place at Independence Square today, November 25.