Government Makes Commitment to End Gender-Based Violence by 2030; Campbell Outlines Plan of Action

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Representatives from female organizations across The Bahamas joined the Zonta Club of New Providence, the Ministry of Social Services and Urban Development and the Department of Gender and Family Affairs, Ministry of Social Services and Urban Development, and S.M.A.R.T. Women at the Launch of the 16 Days of Activism for the Elimination of Violence Against Women and Girls, held Monday (November 25, 2019) in Rawson Square. The Launch was also attended by Speaker of the House of Assembly, the Hon. D. Halson Moultrie and Mrs. Moultrie; Mrs. Patricia Minnis, Office of the First Spouse, and Mrs. Ann Marie Davis, wife of the Leader of the Official Opposition, the Hon. Philip “Brave” Davis. Mrs. Davis is an avid partner in the fight against Gender-Based Violence in The Bahamas. (BIS Photo/Matt Maura)

The Government of The Bahamas has committed to doing all in its power to end Gender-Based Violence in the Commonwealth by the Year 2030, Minister of Social Services and Urban Development, the Hon. Frankie A. Campbell, said Monday. Addressing the 2019 Launch of the Sixteen Days of Activism for the Elimination of Violence Against Women and Girls held in Rawson Square, Minister Campbell said the commitment was made by himself on behalf of the Government of The Bahamas while attending the International Conference on Population Development (ICPD) 25th Anniversary Meeting. 

Minister Campbell, was accompanied to ICPD 25 by the Hon. Brensil A. Rolle, Minister for the Public Service and National Insurance, and Mrs. Elaine Sands, Gender-Based Violence Expert in the Department of Gender and Family Affairs, Ministry of Social Services and Urban Development. The Conference took place November 12-14 in Nairobi, Kenya. Co-convened by the Government of Kenya, the Kingdom of Denmark and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), the Meeting was a High-Level Summit that focused on the recommitment of world leaders to complete the ICPD Programme of Action that was initiated in Cairo, Egypt, in 1994, and in recognition of its “important contribution” to accelerating the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), 2030 Agenda.

The Programme of Action serves as a blueprint for the empowerment of women and girls for their sake, and for the benefit of their families, communities and nations. “I was pleased, on behalf of the Government and People of The Bahamas, to commit that The Bahamas will do all that it can to end Gender-Based Violence by 2030 — Zero Gender-Based Violence by 2030,” Minister Campbell said. “That is a very ambitious undertaking, but it is something I am satisfied that we can do if everyone participates; if everyone finds their role and [would] get up and do something.”

Minister Campbell outlined the Government’s Plan of Action to meet this objective through the Ministry, the Department of Gender and Family Affairs and its various stakeholders and partners. One aspect of the Plan is to place even greater focus on perpetrators of Gender-Based Violence. “Unless or until there is a shift in the mindsets and perspectives of the persons who perpetrate this violence, we will just be spinning wheels; we will just be going around in circles,” Minister Campbell said to a rousing round of applause.

“Therefore it is our intent to annually target 150 inmates housed at The Bahamas Department of Corrections through our partnership with the Prison Fellowship Bahamas Programme and work with them to ensure that they have an appreciation for the wrong that they have done; that they have an appreciation for the need to repent for their actions, and that they have an appreciation for the need to care for, and love, our women and girls.” Minister Campbell said the Plan of Action does not stop there.

“We realize that as we work and focus on changing the mindsets and perspectives of those who would have already committed those breaches and infractions, that it is important that we also work on some level of prevention and so we will work with 500 boys from the private and public-school sector to cause them to have an appreciation for the partnerships that are necessary with our females; for the roles that they (as males) were called upon to play by the Almighty Himself, for them to protect our females; for them to have an appreciation that in order for The Bahamas to advance to the next level, we must have those firm and solid partnerships between boys and girls who will grow up to be women and men who will take over this country from us. “We will also work with the Archdiocese of Nassau (Roman Catholic Church) which has a programme for batterers (The Men’s Group) that is populated predominantly by persons who are sent from the Courts.” Minister Campbell told the attendees that the country needs to have “an all hands on deck” attitude in the fight to end Gender-Based Violence, and violence in general.

Minister of Social Services and Urban Development, the Hon. Frankie A. Campbell, addressing the 2019 Launch of 16 Days of Activism for the Elimination of Violence Against Women and Girls held in Rawson Square, Monday, November 25. The date is observed globally as the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women and Girls and is one of many activities scheduled to commemorate the National Women’s Suffrage Movement in The Bahamas. (BIS Photo/Matt Maura)

Mrs. Coralee Adderley, Chairperson of the National Women’s Advisory Council (NWAC), Dr. Cleopatra Williams, Life Changers Ministries International, and Ms. Marisa Mason-Smith, Chairperson, Zonta National Advocacy Committee, during Monday’s Launch of 16 Days of Activism for the Elimination of Violence Against Women and Girls held under the theme: “Take A Stand: Lock Hands and Hearts.” (BIS Photo/Matt Maura)

Participants attending the launch of the 16 Days of Activism for the Elimination of Violence Against Women and Girls ‘Take a Stand and Lock Hearts and Hands’ — the Launch’s motto. Pictured (from far left) are: Mrs. Kayla Darville, President, Zonta Club of New Providence; Mrs. Kim Moultrie, wife of the Speaker of the House of Assembly, the Hon. D. Halson Moultrie; Mrs. Patricia Minnis, Office of the Spouse of the Prime Minister; Minister of Social Services and Urban Development, the Hon. Frankie A. Campbell; Mrs. Ann Marie Davis, an avid partner in the fight against Gender-Based Violence in The Bahamas; Mrs. Rubyann Cooper-Darling, the first female to vote in The Bahamas, and Mrs. Coralee Adderley (foreground), Chairperson of the National Women’s Advisory Council. (BIS Photo/Matt Maura)

Former President of The Bahamas Christian Council and Superintendent of the Assemblies of God, Bahamas, including the Turks and Caicos Island, Reverend Dr. Patrick Paul; Mrs. Charlene R. Paul, President, S.M.A.R.T. Women and Ms. LaToya Johnson, President, Zonta Club of Nassau, during Monday’s launch in Rawson Square. (BIS Photo/Matt Maura)

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