The Jamaican Canadian Association (JCA) is to deliver programs and services, provides a physical hub, and to advocate to improve the well‐being and equity of Jamaican, Caribbean & African‐Canadian communities within the Greater Toronto Area.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 13, 2017
Statement on Gender-Based Violence in Jamaica
Jamaican Canadian Association Women’s Committee
Toronto, ON – The mandate of the Jamaican Canadian Association’s (JCA) Women’s Committee is to advocate on issues impacting women’s equal rights, including economic, social, cultural, and civil, and to mobilize women’s participation on issues and activities pertaining to those rights.
The members of the JCA’s Women’s Committee are deeply concerned by the escalating incidents of violence against women and children worldwide. This type of violence is rooted in multiple factors such as economic opportunity, politics, culture, religion, and, for the most part, patriarchy.
We are aware of domestic and sexual abuse, and other forms of violence taking place in Jamaica and throughout the Caribbean. It has been widely reported that the overwhelming majority of these violent acts are directed towards women and children.
We are horrified, saddened and deeply concerned by the extent of violence perpetrated towards women and girls. We strongly condemn gender-based violence, and all forms of abuse against women, children and other vulnerable groups. To deny the experiences, realities and vulnerabilities of women and children who are presently or at risk of being victims of violence, is a part of a larger societal problem. Any attempt to muzzle those who speak out is unacceptable.
We stand in solidarity with Latoya Nugent, the “Tambourine Army” of Jamaica, “WE- Change”, and all other groups that work with great effort to provide safe spaces for women and girls, and we commend them for their courage in raising awareness about these human rights violations. In this same breath, we strongly condemn the recent arrest of Latoya Nugent as she works to bring to the fore awareness of the atrocities being waged against women and girls in Jamaica as well as information on identified perpetrators. We demand that justice be brought to bear on her situation expediently.
We defend the rights of all citizens of the world, women and children in particular, to live their lives without fear of violence or human rights abuses of any kind.
As loyal members of the diaspora, with our collective voices we call on the government and all responsible authorities to take immediate and drastic action to protect victims and eradicate violence in all forms. How can Jamaica be branded the “home of alright” when such atrocities are so rampant?
We, the JCA Women’s Committee recommend that:
- Appropriate services, supports and programs be provided to bring relief to those affected.
- More education on gender-based violence, including risk factors, warning signs and available supports, be provided to young women and young men to ensure both genders have equal respect for and understanding of one another as well as each other’s rights.
- Authorities diligently seek, root out and bring perpetrators to justice.
Women’s and children’s rights are human rights, without exception. We ask that every like-minded person who believes the safety and security of all persons is a fundamental value that must be upheld join us in our support for this cause.
Jamaican Canadian Association
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