Dec 10, 2020 News
Kaieteur News – Today marks the end of the global campaign on 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence. The conclusion also coincides with the UN International Human Rights Day.
According to a release issued by the Canadian High Commission yesterday, the past 16 days was spent raising awareness about violence against women.
The release noted too that the rights of women and girls and gender equality are key areas of focus for the Government of Canada, “both at home and around the world.”
At least 17 women have been killed this year by a partner and countless others have suffered domestic and sexual violence at the hands of their partners. The NGOs supporting victims of violence, like Help and Shelter Guyana, has reported a 300 percent increase in calls to the institution.
Yet, there are still many other cases of gender based violence that go unreported. The situation around the world has worsened as more women are now increasingly exposed to their abusive partners due to lockdowns and quarantine measures enacted as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, exacerbated by the inability of social services to fully function.
As such, this year for the 16 Days Campaign, the High Commission partnered locally with several individuals and entities, including First Lady, Arya Ali; Minister of Human Services and Social Security, Dr. Vindhya Persaud; the United Nations Coordinator; the European Union; the Mexican Embassy; Guyana Bank for Trade and Industry; the National Library and Help and Shelter to ‘Orange Georgetown’ and raise awareness about gender based violence.
Additionally, the statement noted that the High Commission of Canada is working with several organizations aiming to support victims of violence, and reduce gender inequality and breakdown gender stereotypes that feed violence against women.
For example, Canada is funding women’s rights groups through the Women’s Voice and Leadership project, throughout Guyana and the Caribbean as a means to support gender equality.
However, the High Commission recognizes that the fight against gender-based violence requires community support.
As such, Janine Cocker, Head of Development Cooperation at the High Commission, said at a recent anti-violence event, “while we have made great strides in the advancement of rights for women and girls, there is still more work to be done.”
She added, “In achieving this goal [ending gender-based violence] we need to build strong partnerships. We believe that through the collective efforts of government, civil society, the international community and the private sector working together, we can broaden the impact of the campaign [to end gender-based violence].”
Meanwhile, during this year’s observance, the High Commission participated in the orange tree-wrapping ceremony with State House and other Government buildings being lit in orange, and 16 days of online social media activism through art and cinema.
Further, the statement noted that the High Commission is open to partnerships which help to drive the efforts to end gender based violence and support the rights of women and girls in Guyana and around the world.
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