By Aaron Humes: Friday’s launch of the 16 Days of Activism saw a short video by prominent members of Cabinet, led by Minister of Human Development Dolores Balderamos-Garcia and Prime Minister John Briceño, released to mark the start of the international campaign.
In accordance with this year’s theme, “Unite! Activism to End Violence Against Women and Girls,” Minister of Education Francis Fonseca stated, “Unite calls for global action to increase awareness, galvanize advocacy efforts, and share knowledge and innovation to end violence against women and girls.”
Discussing health impacts, Minister Kevin Bernard explained, “[Gender-based violence] contributes to HIV prevalence, causes unintended pregnancies, and increases the rate of maternal injury and death, in addition to leading to other detrimental physical and emotional outcomes.”
Minister of Youth Rodwell Ferguson noted that abuse and violence are not limited to the physical; it may extend to sexual, emotional and psychological violence; Minister of Home Affairs Kareem Musa added that “Acceptance of violence as a private affair often prevents others from intervening and prohibits girls and women from reporting,” while Minister of Labour and Rural Development Oscar Requeña noted that certain groups are more vulnerable – those from poor, rural and indigenous communities.
But the Prime Minister and his Ministers say, “No more. Call it out. Enough is enough. [We] condemn violence against women and girls.”