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Survivors of abuse, discrimination, injustices saluted on Int’l Women’s Day




Stand Up Jamaica has hailed survivors of ‘abuse, discrimination and injustices’ in this year’s celebration of International Women’s Day’






In a release to the media, executive director, Carla Gullota noted: “As we celebrate International Women’s Day today, let us laud not only the women who are making great strides and pushing the agenda of women’s rights and inclusivity, but also salute our women who are fighting to survive abuses, discrimination and injustices.

“And even as we celebrate let us also highlight that we still have so much to achieve in terms of rights and dignity.

We are still grappling with a high number of cases of women being killed, beaten, raped, and otherwise violated even as they struggle to gain the same recognition and pay as men.

“The ongoing incidents in the number of women being killed by their partners highlight that we still have much work to do in Jamaica. These cases of intimate partner violence occurred in a context where a woman should feel loved and protected.

 

“For many of our women who are in abusive situations, the toxic poison of male supremacy and the culture of male dominance has been so internalised that they continue to enable the abuse by saying, ‘he beats me up because he loves me’.”

Gullotta noted further: “We need to teach our men that violence and aggression should not be a part of their relationship, which should be fostered daily with mutual respect, understanding and dialogue.

 

“We also need more campaigns to educate our women that violence has nothing to do with love, and that their fears are the effect of insufficient engagement of our society in working on men and women together to introduce the concept of equal rights and dignity.

“Women need greater support in their claims, they need shelters to go to when their family homes become a living hell, and they need to know that no one will use their difficulties to take custody of their children.

“They also need to know and trust a system where while violence is punished, instruments are offered to build their independence and self-awareness.”

 

The executive director, meanwhile, welcomed amendments to the Domestic Violence Act which, among other things, allows the court to impose a fine of up to $1 million for a breach of a protection order, up from a maximum of $10,000; and a sentence of up to one year in prison.

“This is indeed an excellent move by the Government in the protection of victims of abuse and I hope that the new penalties will serve as a deterrent and help to reduce domestic abuse.

“Let us celebrate International Women’s Day with a purpose, by doing all that is required to protect our women, and provide them with equal opportunities and pay.”

 

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