Online platform to raise awareness on gender-based violence DITORIAL

KINGSTON, JAMAICA – The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) has developed a regional online platform – ‘Break the Silence’ – aimed at raising awareness on gender-based violence.

A soft launch was held during the International Day Women’s Concert last week  at Emancipation Park, Kingston, under the theme ‘Unite to End Gender-based Violence’.

The online platform, developed in collaboration with the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, will be jointly launched in the coming weeks.

The objective of the platform is to provide a safe space for survivors to support each other and to offer resources to support victims and survivors.

It also aims to provide fundamental information about clinical and health-service providers, including specialists; psychological and psychosocial care.

Introducing the platform to the large crowd at Emancipation Park, Director of the UNFPA, Sub-Regional Office of the Caribbean, Alison Drayton, said it will provide information on gender-based violence (GBV) as well as the types and consequences of GBV.

Additionally, she said it will have a community section that will allow people to privately share their testimonials and connect with others with similar experiences.

Miss Drayton said the UNFPA is fully committed to ensuring the rights of women and girls to sexual and reproductive health services, and to a life free from gender-based violence.

“Gender-based violence is not just a women’s issue. It is an issue for all of humanity, and there is ample data to show that countries that do not give women fair and equal space and dignity, do not progress in their development,” she said.

She noted that one in every three women experiences gender-based violence in her lifetime, despite the fact that 187 countries, including Jamaica, have ratified the Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW)

“Gender-based violence has harmful and lasting consequences for victims, families, communities and nations, including physical, psychological, social and economic,” she added.