National Council of Women Message for International Women’s Day 2019
by Beverly Richards
International Women’s Day 2019, is celebrated under the theme; “Think equal, build smart, innovate for change”.
“On March 8th, 1975, the first International Women’s day was celebrated, during the International Women’s Year by the United Nations. In 1977 the General Assembly adopted a resolution proclaiming a United Nations Day for women’s Rights and International Peace to be observed on any day of the year by member states, in accordance with their historical and national traditions. The General Assembly recognized the role of women in peace efforts, development and urged an end to discrimination with an increase of support for women’s full and equal participation”.
As we join with many countries around the world in celebrating International Women’s Day 2019 under the theme “Think equal, build smart, innovate for change,” “let us as women and girls recognize the achievements of our women in the areas in which they have excelled without regard to divisions; national, ethnic, linguistic, cultural, economic or political. It is an occasion for looking back on past struggles and accomplishments, and for looking ahead to the untapped potential and opportunities that await the future generations of women.”
There are many social ills in our society that we need to speak up and out against. We have been faced with too many incidences of rape, sexual molestation and harassment of our girl babies and our young women, and scourge of domestic violence, and other violent acts which would cause long term emotional and psychological effects.
The National Council of Women reminds that the age of consent is the age below which a minor is considered to be legally incompetent to consent to sexual acts. Consequently, an adult who engages in sexual activity with a minor younger than the age of consent cannot claim that the sexual activity was consensual, and such sexual activity may be considered statutory rape. The purpose of setting an age of consent is to protect an underage person from sexual advances. Statutory Rape is a criminal act in St Vincent and the Grenadines, and should be dealt with expeditiously. Too many of these matters are thrown out, dismissed or reduced penalties for lack of evidence.
The National Council of Women condemns Statutory Rape and other forms of sexual violence against children and women. We are calling on all relevant authorities to do ALL within our power and authority to bring justice to the victims of these crime committed against our babies and children.
We are calling for a review of the New Domestic Violence Act 2015, a registry of sexual offenders especially those who were convicted for Statutory Rape and the change of the age of consent to 18 years.