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Violence against women in Jamaica condemned by Minister



#Jamaica – January 16, 2020 — Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, Hon. Olivia Grange, has condemned the recent acts of violence against women.

“I join with my fellow Jamaicans to express outrage that there are misguided persons who believe that the lives of our women can be arbitrarily snatched away just like that,” she said.

“These killings re-enforce the need for more sensitisation on the ground as to why there is no excuse for abuse, as well as why we have to, every one of us, continue building more safe spaces for women, so that they can safely transition to normalcy on fleeing toxic relationships,” Ms. Grange added.

The Minister was delivering a Statement in the House of Representatives on Tuesday (January 14). 

Gender-based violence can be perpetrated in many forms, such as psychological, physical, sexual and economic.

Ms. Grange noted that it is a reflection of the culture of violence and silence and is reinforced by various structural and systemic inequalities in the home, in socio-economic systems and systems of justice.


“The issue of gender-based violence is considered to be a complex characterisation, as its private nature can sometimes reduce the likelihood of the victim or witness to report, and oftentimes leads to unfortunate cases of lives being lost, almost lost or individuals being injured,” she explained.

The police have reported 34 murders in the first 11 days of this year and these include some of the productive women and girls who are the backbone of the society.

Ms. Grange further appealed for persons to utilise the Domestic Violence Intervention Centres operated by the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF), which were created to deal with domestic violence.

The Centres offer professional counselling, referrals to appropriate agencies, follow-ups with clients and credible and reliable information. Counselling is provided by trained and certified volunteer counsellors and chaplains who are trained in handling domestic violence matters.

The Minister also assured the public that the Government has continued to pursue legislative solutions for enhanced security measures and will intensify the ‘No Excuse For Abuse’ public education campaign, to ensure that the “scourge of gender-based violence  is treated with urgent attention and strong operational measures”.


“I wish to appeal to persons who are involved in situations of conflict, to seek the necessary counselling and psychosocial support.  Too often these situations result in acts of violence and are often life-threatening and rob our families of hard-working and productive community members,” she added.

Meanwhile, Ms. Grange informed that the Bureau of Gender Affairs’ Community Liaison Branch conducts outreach activities to address the social issues affecting the public.

This, she said, is facilitated through the community intervention programmes undertaken across the 14 parishes.

“We do human service providers training sessions. These sessions target persons who work with individuals, families and communities who may directly or indirectly experience gender-based violence. These professionals include social workers, police officers, nurses, doctors, health aids, among others,” she noted.

From 2018 to 2019, some 23 human service provider sessions were facilitated. A total of 889 individuals were sensitised, 620 females and 269 males. 

In addition, students are equipped with skills to mitigate and prevent various forms of school-related gender-based violence.

During the period of 2018 to 2019, some 2,388 students (1,643 females and 745 males) were sensitised.


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Caribbean News

CARPHA Remembers Former PAHO Director Emeritus – Dr. Carissa Etienne as a “Tireless Advocate for Regional Solidarity”



Port of Spain, Trinidad. 01 December, 2023: It is with profound sadness and shock that I extend my deepest condolences to the family and friends, people of Dominica, the Caribbean Community and the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), on the untimely passing of PAHO Director Emeritus, Dr. Carissa Etienne.

Dr. Etienne’s contributions to public health in the Americas were not only significant, but also transformative.  Her leadership and unwavering commitment to our Caribbean Community’s collective pursuit of healthier people, healthier spaces and a healthier Caribbean were a source of inspiration to many.  Dr. Etienne was a tireless advocate for The Americas’ regional solidarity, for she knew that was the only way to address the glaring inequalities that exist here.

She was the Director at PAHO for most of the life of the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA), and under her leadership, CARPHA graduated from the PAHO Biennial Work Programme (BWP) arrangement to having framework agreements.

PAHO funded many of the programmes that are difficult to attract support, like the Caribbean Regulatory System (CRS) and the Medicines Quality Control and Surveillance Department (MQCSD), which are important services for the Region to ensure the quality of medicines.  Under Dr. Etienne’s leadership, PAHO also funded non-communicable disease interventions, another area that does not attract large pots of funding, although the number one cause of deaths in the Caribbean region. 

During the Pandemic, CARPHA worked with PAHO to fund the downpayments to give 12 Member States access to COVID-19 vaccines through COVAX to the tune of US$2.6 million.

Dr. Etienne will be remembered as a true Caribbean lady who worked with great dedication and focus throughout the horrible COVID-19 period and right up to her last working day at PAHO.

During this challenging time, we pray that God will give strength to Dr. Etienne’s family, friends, and colleagues.  CARPHA cherishes the memories of her remarkable contributions to the well-being of individuals and communities throughout the Americas, but especially the Caribbean.

The CARPHA Executive Management and staff stand in solidarity with our Caribbean Community as we mourn the loss of a visionary leader. 


Dr. Joy St. John

Executive Director, CARPHA

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Caribbean News

CANARI outlines climate priorities ahead of Cop28



Rashaed Esson

Staff Writer


The Caribbean Natural Resources Institute (CANARI) informed that the Caribbean Climate Justice Alliance, in preparation for the upcoming annual COP28 in 2023, launched its “Caribbean Climate Justice and Resilience Agenda,” outlining the priorities for climate justice and resilience in vulnerable Caribbean small island developing states (SIDS).


In a press release, CANARI highlighted that the agenda recognizes the major threat of climate change to the region as well as aims to louden the voices of the at-risk groups “on the frontlines of the climate crisis and catalyze actions for climate justice and local resilience in the Caribbean SIDS.”


The priorities stated under the agenda are:


  1. Curbing emissions to limit global temperature

increase to 1.5 ̊C


  1. Scaling up locally-led solutions for adaptation and

loss and damage


  1. Improving access to and delivery of climate finance

for frontline communities, small and micro enterprises, and civil society organizations as part of a ‘whole of society’ approach


  1. Scaling up just, nature-based solutions for resilience


  1. Supporting a just transition for pro-poor, inclusive,

sustainable and resilient development


  1. Promoting gender equity and social inclusion

approaches to climate action


  1. Promoting youth and intergenerational equity as

core to the climate response


  1. Integrating a rights-based and earth-centered

approach in addressing all these priorities and ensuring climate justice


The at-risk groups referred to in the release include small-scale farmers and fisherfolk, rural women producers, income-poor people, elderly and disabled people, Indigenous and Afro-descendant communities, migrants, and LGBTQIA+ people.


Being cognizant of the severity of the effects of climate change on the Caribbean, CANARI referred to the fact that the very existence of the region is on the line.


“If greenhouse gas emissions continue unabated and global temperature exceeds 1.5 ̊C, the impacts of rising sea levels, more intense hurricanes, rainfall variability, ocean acidification, and other changes threaten the very existence of our way of life in the Caribbean and other SIDS that have contributed the least to global emissions.”


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Bahamas News

CARICOM Sec Gen speaks on Gender Based Violence



Rashaed Esson


Staff Writer 


“Everyone must continue to invest in preventing violence against our women and girls (VAWG). It is an investment in our shared future,” were the words of Dr. Carla N. Barnett, CARICOM Secretary-General, as she reiterated the need for solutions against VAWG.


She called attention to VAWG as she gave a speech surrounding the annual campaign “16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence,” which runs from November 25 to December 10, 2023.


Barnett expresses the well-known fact that VAWG is one of the most prevalent issues affecting all corners of society.


“VAWG remains one of the most pervasive forms of human rights violations in the world and cuts across all races, cultures, genders, and educational backgrounds,” she maintained, as she continued to point out the sad reality that this is still a major issue despite regional and global policies.


“Despite the existence of regional and global policies and legislation to combat VAWG, weak enforcement and discriminatory practices remain significant barriers to ending VAWG.”


The Secretary-General highlighted statistics for VAWG, bringing attention to how serious and embedded this issue is in society.


She said that globally, 736 million women—nearly one in three—have experienced violence—physical and/or sexual intimate partner violence, non-partner sexual violence, or even both.


For the Caribbean region, she said surveys conducted between 2016 and 2019 inform us that one in two women experience intimate partner violence, which is higher than the global average. 


In continuation, Barnett expressed that the campaign calls everyone to action against VAWG, including “development partners, civil society organizations, women’s organizations, youth, the private sector, and the media.”  Also, world governments are being asked to share how they are investing in gender-based violence prevention.


Ending her address, the Secretary-General urged everyone to wear the color orange for the duration of the campaign, as well as on the 25th of each month, “as a symbol of hope for a brighter future where women and girls live free from violence.”

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