In conjunction with the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women (IDEVAW), PADF organized four events in the Bahamas to eliminate gender-based violence. The events gathered neighbors, police, and community leaders to discuss the most pressing issues related to gender-based violence. Convening together allowed neighbors to speak up - in some cases for the first time - about issues that have largely been accepted as a cultural norm.
The Bahamas ranks among the highest in recorded incidents of rape in the world, beckoning an urgent response. Pervading gender based violence “constitutes a major public health issue” in the Bahamas, according to a 2015 report by the Bahamas Ministry of Social Services and Community Development.
The discussions did not exclusively focus on violence against women. The victims of gender-based violence, as it was pointed out, can be men as well.
Intolerable Global Facts on Gender-Based Violence:
- In developing countries, only half of women aged 15-49 make their own decisions about consensual sex or use of contraceptives.
- In 2012, half of all female victims of intentional homicide were killed by an intimate partner or family member.
- Research also shows that achieving gender equality helps in preventing conflict
Achieving violence-free households and communities will require intentional efforts and cooperation from civil society, governments, and police authorities.
“By increasing awareness and uniting the right people, communities can identify actionable steps to eliminate gender based violence," said Roberto Obando, Program Director of the Caribbean at PADF. "Together, we can prevent violence from happening and react appropriately when it occurs.”
Events took place in Cat Island, Exuma Island, Long Island, and New Providence Island during the second week of December, 2017.