Assistant Information Officer
Department of Information & Public Relations
The Territory will join the United Nations 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence Campaign as it observes International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women on November 25.
The campaign will be held under the theme, “From Peace in the Home to Peace in the World; A safe education for all,” and will culminate with the observance of Human Rights Day on December 10.
Gender Affairs Coordinator Ms. Lorolie Connor stated that in an effort to gain support and create awareness on the significance of the dates, the department has partnered with the local radio stations such as ZBVI 780 AM station and ZKING 100.9 FM station to air public service announcements addressing the topic of violence.
Ms Connor said, “In addition to the radio, we have continued running our ‘Men Against Violence’ Campaign, on JTV television station, Channel 55. Our overall purpose for continuing the campaign is to ensure that we send the message that violence in all forms must stop and that it is our human right to protest peacefully against the mistreatment of any human being.”
Ms. Connor highlighted the importance of fundamental/basic human rights that everyone should know about and added that persons are not fully educated on the topic of human rights.
Ms. Connor said “Persons fought and are still fighting, even in this present time, for future generations to live fair and productive lives. It has been a long struggle, but we live as if these rights just came about. There was an actual struggle to achieve the level of rights we enjoy in the Virgin Islands.”
As part of the awareness activities, the Office of Gender Affairs, in collaboration with the Family Support Network, Zonta, the Girls Brigade and other service clubs will be leading the annual March against Violence on December 10.
The Gender Affairs Coordinator is inviting churches, service clubs and private organisations to participate in the march in solidarity for human rights everywhere. She said human rights is not about violence, it is about protection from inhumane treatment, protection of right to personal liberty, provision to secure protection of law, protection of freedom of movement, protection of the right to marry and found a family and protection of the right to education.
The march will begin at 9:30 a.m. from the Governor’s parking lot towards the Central Administration Complex. Following the March Against Violence will be the Celebration of Life Ceremony where persons from the Territory who lost their lives through violence will be recognised.
Other significant dates within the 16 days are the International Women Human Rights Defenders Day on November 29, World AIDS Day on December 1 and International Day of Persons with Disabilities on December 3.
Persons who are interested in participating in the March Against Violence are asked to contact the Office of Gender Affairs at 468-2236.