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Belizean leads region-wide movement to end violence against women and girls boosted by CARICOM Model KAP Tool

Posted: Monday, July 31, 2023. 10:57 pm CST.

By Aaron Humes: Former chair of the Belize National Women’s Commission (NWC) and current deputy program manager, Human and Social Development – Gender Development, CARICOM Secretariat, Ann-Marie Williams, has led the development of the region’s first Compendium of Model Knowledge, Attitudes and Practice on Social Gender Norms and Violence against Women and Girls.

The Secretariat’s Gender and Development Program developed the Tool in May 2023 in partnership with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) under the Regional Spotlight Initiative Caribbean Program, with focus group discussions and testing were done with heads of the National Gender Machineries, civil society organizations, academia, feminist groups and vulnerable groups who mainly work in violence against women and girls (VAWG) and with vulnerable populations as part of the consultative process with Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Belize, Guyana, Jamaica, Saint Lucia and the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago.

The KAP Tool is a survey with pre-determined questions formatted in standardized questionnaires that provides access to quantitative and qualitative information. Designed to support regional organizations working with women, girls and other vulnerable populations experiencing violence, the tool facilitates capturing the authentic voices of persons experiencing violence with the aim of using the data to identify trends, which will inform recommendations for curbing violence. Subsequently, a two-day training of trainers workshop was held to equip citizens of the Region with the skills to utilize the tool effectively.

“Our goal is to provide organisations providing services to vulnerable persons, especially civil society, with an effective method of capturing the lived experiences of women and girls dealing with violence,” stated Williams; “these experiences will help us to paint a vivid picture of what is happening in the homes in which violence is perpetuated. The overarching goal is to create a roadmap for reducing violence against women and girls region-wide”.

Referring specifically to the Caribbean, a 2022 United Nations (UN) report underscored that despite the progress made in confronting violence against women and girls, national surveys in Latin America and the Caribbean, report that between 63 and 76 percent of women and girls have experienced gender-based violence in different settings. Moreover, estimates for 2018 show that in Latin America and the Caribbean, some 43 million women between the ages of 15 and 49 years — one in four women in that age range— have experienced physical and/or sexual violence by an intimate partner at least once in their lifetime (WHO, 2021).

 

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