Government remains committed to the goal of eradicating domestic and gender-based violence in Barbados.

This was reaffirmed today by Minister of Social Care, Constituency Empowerment and Community Development, Steve Blackett, who was speaking at the launch of the 16 Days of Activism 2015 Campaign, at the Bureau of Gender Affairs, Baobab Tower, Warrens, St. Michael.

Mr. Blackett said that his Ministry, through the Bureau of Gender Affairs, had been working tireless to alleviate gender-based violence. He said that amendments had been made to the Domestic Violence Act and these would be brought to Parliament shortly.

The Social Care Minister also disclosed that he had approved a National Policy on Gender and that it would soon be sent to the Cabinet Committee on Social Policy for approval. Once approved, he said a committee would be selected to monitor the implementation of the policy.

Minister Blackett pointed out that the 16 days of Activism Campaign had become part of the Bureau of Gender Affairs??? mandate. He added that this year???s theme is ???From Peace in the Home to Peace in the World: Make Education Safe for All???.??

???This allows us to recognise that women and girls remain most susceptible to an unsafe educational environment??? For us in Barbados, education has long been understood as the birthright of every child, irrespective of gender, social or economic status. The call to make education safe for all must, therefore, continue to resonate deeply, not only within the Government but also within the many organisations which promote a robust educational system…,” he said.

Meanwhile, representative from the UN Women Caribbean Country Office, Christine Arab, applauded Barbados??? efforts to eradicate domestic and gender-based violence. She said the 16 days of activism should be viewed as a sign of hope, but people should never forget reality, pointing out that women and girls were now being abused in new ways, such as cyber bullying.

She urged survivors of gender-based violence not to give up, and reminded the people and Government of Barbados that they must remain committed to the cause.

The 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence will run until Thursday, December 10. During this time, the Bureau of Gender Affairs and its partners will host a number of activities as part of the campaign.

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