Violence against women and girls the most widespread human right violations: CARICOMListen /
With the scourge of violence against women and girls still rampant around the world, the international community must "rise to the occasion" and lay out concrete plans to tackle that long-standing, deeply entrenched crisis, stressed high-level speakers as the Commission on the Status of Women opened its historic fifty-seventh session today.
Jennifer Webster, Minister of Human Services and Social Security of Guyana, speaking on behalf of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), said violence against women and girls is among the most widespread human rights violations and is prevalent on every continent and in every culture.
TAPE: As such, the priority theme "elimination and prevention of all forms of violence against women and girls" is an issue that commands high priority within our region. Women play a critical role in the socio-economic and political development of the Caribbean, and Member States of the region take pride in the achievements made in the promotion of gender equality and the empowerment of women. In March 2012, on the occasion of International Women's Day, the Secretary-General of CARICOM recognized the significant contribution that women in our community make to the stability and development of the region and called for a recommitment of all our efforts to improve equality, justice and peace for all.
Ms. Webster says that in reaffirming its long standing commitment to the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, and the implementation of the Convention o the Elimination of All forms of Discrimination against Women, CARICOM member States recognized that considerable progress needs to be made to fulfil the promise of the Platform for Action and the Convention. She said that among the obstacles to the realization of the shared objectives is the continuing violence meted out to women and girls in societies throughout the world.
TAPE:CARICOM countries are not unique in the problems we face to attain the goals and objectives set out in the Beijing Declaration and Platform of Action and other international instruments established to protect the rights of women and girls. One problem which is of great concern to our governments is that of domestic violence. We have recognized that the endemic culture of violence and widespread gender-based violence in particular, demands intensive and extensive strategic action and multi-layered interventions by all of us. The trafficking of humans for sexual or labour exploitation is also a growing concern for CARICOM Member States as the victims of sexual exploitation and trafficking are predominantly young women and girls. Traffickers now routinely use the lure of lucrative job opportunities to target women and girls across the region through websites.
During the present session, as the Commission examined ways to effectively prevent violence against women and girls, it must ensure that the words spoken in condemnation of such violence were transformed into new and systematic actions that created real and meaningful changes in the lives of women and girls.