Violence against women unacceptable
THE EDITOR, Sir:
Every year, hundreds of women are subject to various forms of violence, both subtle and obvious. Women are beaten in their homes, harassed on the streets and bullied on the Internet. The United Nations estimates that globally, one in three women will experience physical or sexual violence at some point in her life.
Today, as we commemorate the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women as part of the 16 days of activism culminating on International Human Rights Day (December 10, 2104), we need to remember that violence against women and girls, in all its forms, not only undermines attempts towards gender equity, but is a clear violation of human rights.
In Jamaica, recent public discussions around the issue of sexual violence against women - that it cannot occur within the context of marriage and can somehow be treated with a degree of levity - make it obvious that much work remains with regard to transforming attitudes that fail to appreciate the gravity of violence against women.
As that part of the University of the West Indies community charged with supporting the inclusive social, economic, political, cultural, and environmental development of the Caribbean region, the Institute for Gender and Development Studies (Regional Coordinating Unit) renews its commitment - through its programme of research, teaching and advocacy - to combat the scourge of violence against women and to work alongside our men to create a global community in which women's rights are upheld as human rights.