National Plan to end gender-based violence launched
After more than 10 years in the making, the National Strategic Action Plan to Eliminate Gender-based Violence (NSAP-GBV) was launched yesterday to provide a more integrated, multisectoral, and structured approach to address violence against women and girls.
Speaking at the launch, Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, Olivia Grange explained that the plan takes into account the socio-cultural background, as well as the specific needs, of the victims, survivors, and witnesses of violence.
"This plan started under my watch some years ago as a major deliverable under a project that was supported by UN Women, entitled Strengthening State Accountability and Community Action for Ending Gender-Based Violence in the Caribbean," she said.
"I went on a little vacation, and during my time, it has gone through two government cycles and was finally approved by Cabinet."
The NSAP-GBV was approved on July 10 this year and will focus on prevention, protection, investigation, prosecution, enforcement of victims' rights, and the coordination of the NSAP and data-management systems.
Jamaica is currently observing 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence which started on November 25. This period is expected to result in the galvanisation of actions to combat all forms of GBV, which includes human trafficking, sexual violence, and intimate partner violence.
Representative for the UN Women Multi-Country Office in the Caribbean Alison McLean believes that the action plan is one of the most comprehensive approaches to ending gender-based violence ever crafted.
"Experiencing and witnessing domestic violence can, for example, have a direct impact on the health, well-being, and educational outcomes of young people, so as we focus on gender-based violence, we focus on all of the elements of society. We focus on men, we focus on women, and very importantly, we focus on families and communities," McLean said.
"Jamaica joins five others in the Caribbean region and many other countries across the globe who have taken this significant step and public commitment towards addressing gender-based violence," McLean noted.
The other countries are The Bahamas, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Belize, Antigua and Barbuda, and Grenada.