Nashauna Drummond, Lifestyle Coordinator
The murmurs around the room told the story. Everyone seems to have known someone who knew someone who has been a victim of gender-based violence. It's one of society's age-old ills, and the Bureau of Women's Affairs is taking that bull by the horns with the second of three national consultations to develop the National Action Plan to eliminate gender-based violence.
On Thursday, August 18, the bureau invited a number of stakeholders at the Village Hotel in Ocho Rios to give their input into this 'what to do manual'. Representatives from the security forces, Ministry of Labour, Rural Agricultural Development Authority, Jamaica Council for Persons with Disability, among other associations representing the parishes of Trelawny, St Ann, St James and Portland, were present.
United Nations declaration
Project Officer Siddier Chambers, told Flair that developing the manual was in keeping with the United Nations declaration for all countries to develop a working National Action Plan (NAP), have it adopted and under way by 2015, in keeping with the deadline for achieving the Millennium Development Goals. Jamaica's NAP also falls within Jamaica's Vision 2030 plan.
She notes that the manual, which will then be distributed to all the relevant stakeholders, will ensure that all partners are on the right path in eliminating gender-based violence to ensure that the victim is taken care of and also dealing with the issue of the perpetrators. However, she encouraged everyone: "Feel it is your personal duty as a citizen of Jamaica to be involved in the fight against gender-based violence."
The final consultation before compiling the final draft of the National Action Plan will take place in Mandeville, Manchester before the October deadline.