by Linda Straker
- Intimate partner violence is a serious threat to the country
- Spotlight Initiative is funded by European Union and United Nations
- Grenada recognises importance of gender equality
Prime Minister Dr Keith Mitchell said that intimate partner violence is a serious threat to the country, and that affects every single area. This scourge is causing the society to pay a heavy price socially and economically. “It burns me when I see any activity of this nature occurring around me because I take a fundamental personal responsibility for that, because we must respect each other, we must love each other in a way that shows respect.”
Dr Mitchell delivered the feature address at the signing ceremony for the latest project that will focus on putting the issue of gender-based violence and its consequences in the spotlight. The Spotlight Initiative is funded by the European Union in collaboration with the United Nations. It will focus attention, coordinate human effort and strategically utilise resources to accelerate progress towards reducing family violence and all forms of violence against women and girls in Grenada.
“It is my view that we have to get this message to the society as a whole because sometimes at the home it is tolerated. Some of our women are highly responsible for what is taking place when a young girl is crying out for help and instead of your help[ing] them you are in fact participating in their destruction. I see it and I feel it,” he said in an emotional plea to mothers.
“Sometimes the brightest of our young girls have to go through this and what [do] you have — a bright destroyed person — and I don’t think some of us understand the seriousness of this,” said the Prime Minister, who is also the Minister for National Security.
“In fact, some people seem to don’t understand the seriousness of the responsibility to bring a child into this world. It is much more than bringing someone into this world, but with this project and others we have hope that this spotlight initiative will help us to address the problem pose by gender-based violence,” he said before signing the documents with the funding agents’ representatives.
“The issue of violence within the family structure is so important because of its impact on all aspect of life in our country. In effect, every single area and we pay a heavy price socially and economically. I don’t think that we have in fact done enough study to understand the impact of this particular issue on the economic life of our country,” he said, reconfirming that Grenada recognises the importance of gender equality in creating a state where there is harmony and progress for everyone.
US Ambassador Daniela Tramacere, who was the head of the delegation to Grenada for signing, explained that the Spotlight Initiative is a 3-year programme focusing on eliminating violence against women and girls.
“It is so named as it brings focused attention to this issue, moving it into the spotlight and placing it at the centre of efforts to achieve general equality and women’s empowerment in line with the 2030 agenda for sustainable development,” she said. “Violence strives in the corners of darkness that is why we have to put it in the spotlight.”
The project is expected to harness the power of Grenada’s women’s movement, autonomous social movements and civil society organisations to end family violence in all its forms presents an excellent opportunity to do a lot more.
Grenada is one of 6 Caribbean countries will the spotlight initiative will be implemented. The other countries selected are Haiti, Jamaica, Belize, Guyana, and Trinidad and Tobago. The countries will receive grant funding from a collective pool of €50 million.
The initiative is intended to provide renewed investment in and commitment to general equality and women’s empowerment as a pre-condition and driver for the achievement of all the sustainable development goals.
Grenada will be having 47 activities linked to the 6 pillars of the initiative. They include reviewing some of the family laws including the status of children legislation, the child maintenance legislation as well as developing the concept of a family court.