Bureau of Gender Affairs Panel Discussion
As part of the observation of International Women’s Day celebrated on Friday March 8th, the Bureau of Gender Affairs hosted an Open Forum on Thursday March 7th 2013 on the topic “A promise is a promise, time for action to end violence against women.”
Director of the Bureau of Gender Affairs, Ms. Rosie Brown says, the issue of violence against women continues to be one of the most serious problems in our country, which impedes the development and progress of women.
Despite the lack of financing and personnel, in addition to the new sophisticated form of violence, Ms. Brown says, they are committed to put measures in place to deal with issues of violence against women.
A Scotia Bank Representative sated International Women’s Day represents a time to inspire women and celebrate their achievements.
Speaker of the House of Assembly, Honourable Alix Boyd Knights stated she was very happy to see the number of men at the Forum, especially as they are the ones that need to be more informed on why they should not engage in violence against women.
Mrs. Knights says, everything that can be done needs to be done to end violence against women and young girls, and if males are deemed a part of the problem, they have to be a part of the solution.
Although it is not only the male perpetrators at fault, there are others who may inadvertently contribute to the ineffectiveness of laws and other strategies intended on eradicating violence against women and girls.
She highlighted one of her ideas entitled “Let the pocket pay.”
This, she stated should provide legal aid for victims of domestic violence, substantial financial contributions for victims included in the legislation, and where an alleged perpetrator has admitted culpability as he so wishes and the victim agrees, a mediation framework should be established.
This she said will determine the level of compensation a victim should receive, as well as a mandatory remedial counseling for the perpetrator at his own cost.
Magistrate Gloria Augustus revealed that, child sexual abuse and domestic violence are among the most destructive experiences a woman can have.
Ms. Augustus added solving the issues of violence against women is not just about laws, but it requires a collaborative effort of all directly and indirectly involved, in addition to those wanting to help make that change.