Ministry Acknowledges UN International Day

November 25, 2021 | 0 Comments

The Ministry of Social Development and Seniors acknowledged the UN International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women.

Minister Tinee Furbert said, “Violence against women and girls is one of the most prevalent human rights violations in the world. Globally, it is estimated that 736 million, which represents 1 in 3 women, have experienced physical and/or sexual intimate partner violence or non-partner violence in their lifetime.”

“Although violence against women and girls is one of the most widespread, persistent, and disturbing human rights violations globally today, it remains largely unreported due to the stigma and shame surrounding gender-based violence. The United Nations reported that fewer than 40% of women who experience violence seek help of any sort and only 1 in 10 victims contact the police for help.”

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Minister Furbert added, “The restricted movement, social isolation, and economic insecurity caused by the Covid-19 pandemic have increased women’s vulnerability to violence in their homes. As a result, many countries including Bermuda have seen an increase in calls to helplines for violence against women. Some countries have noted the escalation has been five times more than what was documented prior to the pandemic.”

“From March 30th, 2020 through May 20th, 2020, the Centre Against Abuse reported that they serviced 56 women clients who had experienced violence towards them. However, sadly the majority of women and girls in our community continue to suffer in silence.”

“This type of behavior, whether it be sexual harassment, abuse, or violence, knows no geographical boundary, age limit, or colour bar, and affects every type of family relationship and social class. It is rooted in inequalities and discrimination against women and to prevent and eradicate it, we must focus on gender equality and empowerment of women.”

Minister Furbert stated, “The Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women [CEDAW] which was extended in 2017, commits Bermuda to improve the situation for women and girls as well as monitoring and reporting on the measures taken to comply with the treaty obligation.”

“The Government encourages victims of gender-based violence to seek the support they need through a friend, family member, co-worker, the police, and/or a helping agency.”

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“As a community, we must stop casting judgment and be more supportive of victims of gender-based violence as one life lost is too many. There should not be any excuse or immunity for perpetrators of violence against women and girls. Talking about victimisation does not end victimisation, intervention is needed. We must all come together collectively to prevent and eliminate all forms of violence and harassment against women and girls.”

Minister Furbert concluded, “The United Nations International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, which starts today, is centered around 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence. This year’s theme is, “Orange the world: End violence against women now!”. To show support for a violence-free future I encourage all sectors of the community to show gender-based violence is not acceptable in Bermuda by displaying the colour orange. This can be done in various forms, for example, wear the colour orange, place an orange ribbon onto your vehicle or display orange lights onto your home or on a company building.”

“Bermuda, we must continue to mobilise for the elimination of violence against women, we must stand together for non-violence in every aspect of our lives. I call on everyone in Bermuda to commit to doing their part to end gender-based violence.”

Premier David Burt expressed, “I am proud to support the United Nations International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women by having the Cabinet Building illuminated orange tonight, in line with this year’s theme of ‘Orange the World: End Violence against women now’. As a community, we all have a role to play in preventing violence against women and girls, and I encourage each and every Bermudian to do their part in creating an environment where both women and girls are continually empowered and encouraged.”

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