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PM addresses gender based violence

PM addresses gender based violence


Violence against women is a serious matter that is being addressed by the Government of St Vincent and the Grenadines.

Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves stated this on Wednesday in Parliament, while responding to the recent publication of a shadow report {{more}}prepared by the Université du Québec à Montréal’s (UQUAM) International Clinic for the Defense of Human Rights and the St Vincent and the Grenadines Human Rights Association, which criticised the Government for “not providing adequate protection to women.”

“I don’t want it to appear that this matter is an issue which the Government is not addressing and we will continue to address it in a very serious way,” said Gonsalves.

With regard to the report, the Prime Minister described the document as “polemical” and “stylized” and declared that the matter of violence against women was too important to be dealt with in such a fashion.

“Sometimes persons may say…why you spending so much time reading all of these things. I have to read them and study them and some people who discuss these things don’t read them, they read the headlines,” he said, while reading out several paragraphs.

“It goes on to say ‘since 2001 – that is the year – a culture of fear has developed as political victimization and discrimination are a reality.’ So the opening chapter will tell you where this is coming from; that the views are already coloured in a jaundiced way, politically jaundiced way.”

Gonsalves also read an excerpt which stated that “cultural prejudices against women and the trivialization of violence within relationships have a devastating effect against women’s rights particularly their right to be free from violence.”

“I do not know if you can write as an established fact that there are cultural prejudices against women. I don’t know that men in this country are prejudice against women,” the Prime Minister said.

Furthermore, Gonsalves took the opportunity to highlight two documents that are under review by the Government, which address the issue of violence against women.

“We are at the moment considering a number of the issues under some analysis which is less polemical; in fact an attempt to engage people in a manner to find solutions to problems which we have,” he said.

These documents are “St Vincent and the Grenadines National Gender based Violence Action Plan” by Dr Halima de Shong and the first draft of “Country Gender Assessment: St Vincent and the Grenadines” by Lynette Vaso.(BK)