Gender violence will once again come under the spotlight when the Bureau of Gender Affairs joins with countries worldwide, to celebrate 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence.

The 16-day campaign, which has been recognised internationally for more than a decade, will link the International Day Against Violence Against Women on Thursday, November 25, to the International Human Rights Day on Friday, December 10. It will also cover other significant United Nation days, including International Women’s Human Rights Defenders Day on Monday, November 29 and World AIDS Day on Wednesday, December 1.

Under the theme Gender Issues in Conflict Situations – Natural Disasters, the Bureau, in collaboration with a number of other governmental and non-governmental organisations, has organised various events which are designed to address the issue of gender violence after a natural disaster has occurred. These include a poster competition, a church service, a series of town hall meetings and pep talks in schools across the island.

A workshop will also be staged for members of District Emergency Organisations (DEOs).?? Acting Director of the Bureau of Gender Affairs, Patricia Hackett-Codrington, said: "Coming out of…what happened in Haiti, and what has happened in other places where they have been natural disasters, in terms of what happened in the shelters, we want to do some work this year with the DEOs and shelter wardens, sensitising them to the issue of violence that could occur in that kind of setting against women and girls…A disaster can impact negatively on men, when they have lost?? their jobs, their homes, so gender based violence develops after you have those types of disasters."??

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