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Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Secretary-General Dr. Carla Barnett has encouraged Caribbean people to take a firm stand against gender-based violence.
She did so in a message marking the 16 Days Of Activism Campaign Against Gender-Based Violence, 25 November – 10 December 2022.
” I encourage the people of the Caribbean Community to take decisive action to end gender-based violence,” Barnett stated.
“This is a vital human rights imperative that needs our collective and concerted action,” the CARICOM official asserted.
According to Barnett, gender-based violence remains a public health crisis in the Caribbean.
She noted that the World Health Organization (WHO) asserts that globally, one in three women has experienced physical and/or sexual violence at some point in her lifetime, usually from an intimate partner.
And regarding the Caribbean, Barnett recalled that prevalence surveys conducted between 2017-2019 in five Member States with a sample of women and girls 15-64 years indicated incidence rates as high as one in two women.
Barnett observed that rates of gender-based violence increased dramatically during the COVID-19 pandemic, and systemic inequalities have been exacerbated, with women disproportionately affected.
“Our advocacy must therefore be resolute and sustained,” she asserted.