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Make gender abuse a ‘national security issue’

TRE GREAVES, [email protected]

Make gender abuse a ‘national security issue’

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Gender-based violence must be treated as a national security issue, says programme specialist on economic empowerment at UN Women, Isiuwa Iyahen.

She was responding to findings from the Conduct of National Prevalence Surveys on Gender-Based Violence in CARICOM, which showed that 28 to 30 per cent of women experienced physical or sexual violence from a partner, 25 to 35 per cent experienced emotional violence and 13 to 19 per cent of all women experienced some type of abuse before they reached age 18.

“We have to position intimate partner violence and gender-based violence as a national security issue. It’s not just to be addressed within the home, but it is a public issue that should be tackled in all spheres. People have to move beyond just keeping that information to themselves and see it as a crime and as a contravention of human rights that need to be reported and dealt with in the public sphere.

“I think that will require a change in mindset at different levels. We need men and women to engage in relationships that are mutually respectful so that when violence occurs, you know you are crossing the red line,” Iyahen said.

She made these comments to reporters Wednesday during a seminar at UN House, Hastings, Christ Church, where the findings were discussed. (TG)

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