Minister with responsibility for Information, Senator the Hon. Sandrea Falconer, has asserted that violence against women has to stop, emphasizing that there is an urgent need for a broader national dialogue and engagement to tackle the issue. “Violence against women happens too often…I am sure everyone has had a friend or an acquaintance who has been a victim of intimate personal violence (IPV) and it has to stop,” the Minister emphasized, as she addressed the launch of the report: ‘Violence Against Women in Latin America and the Caribbean’, at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel in Kingston on March 26. Stressing her intolerance to violence, especially against women and children, the Minister expressed the hope that increased dialogue and broad involvement will generate the urgently needed solutions to the issue. “We will never be able to build and support enough shelters to give refuge to battered women who are desperate to break free of the shackles imposed on them by the men who feel it is their right to perpetrate violence. The dialogue must begin, the dialogue must be broad, the dialogue must be intense,” Senator Falconer emphasised. She noted that not enough has been done to tackle the issue, but the Government has made some progress through the Bureau of Women’s Affairs and through programmes in the Ministries of Health, Labour and Social Security and the Office of the Prime Minister. [RELATED: PAHO/WHO Report on Violence Against Women Launched]The Minister cited one such intervention as a high level multi-sectoral consultative committee commissioned by Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Portia Simpson Miller, late last year, to address violence and sexual crimes against women and children.She said this committee, which she chairs, is charged with developing a holistic approach to tackling the problem by assessing and streamlining measures, recommendations and activities so that national action will be better co-ordinated, more comprehensive and effective in utilising limited resources.The areas being focused on include public education, institutional strengthening, shelter services, and the promotion of sustainable livelihoods.“In addition, pieces of legislation have either been introduced or strengthened. These steps have allowed for the establishment of a Sex Offenders Registry, increasing remedies available to women and girls who are victims; the ability to give evidence via video link; and increased penalties on some perpetrators,” she said.“We believe that purposeful measures like these are required to combat violence against women and girls wherever it persists,” the Minister added.Citing a 2008 Reproductive Health Survey conducted in Jamaica, which reveals that 35 per cent of the women surveyed, aged 15 to 49, reported that they had suffered intimate personal violence, the Minister contended that “this takes on frightening dimensions when one considers that those incidents occur within the home.”“That has implications for children who are exposed to violence as often times it determines the choices they make as adults,” the Senator said.The Minister lamented that there is a culture of impunity that seems to operate in the minds of the perpetrators of intimate personal violence, who believe that it is okay and even justifiable to mete out such violence.“Then there is the acceptance by some victims that this is normal, this is what they deserve,” she added.“From the standpoint of conditioning and exposure, the data indicate that one in five of the young men surveyed, aged 15 to 24, feel that it is okay for a man to beat his woman. Put another way, 22 per cent of our young men believe ‘woman mus’ get lick’,” the Minister said.She further stressed that greater intervention is needed to begin to change the mindset of all involved.By Alecia Smith-Edwards, JIS Reporter
zoomIllustration. Image Courtesy: Pixabay under CC0 Creative Commons license Port operator Associated British Ports (ABP) has announced a new agreement which sees Thor Shipping & Transport commit 10 years to the Port of Hull.In addition, ABP has invested GBP 6 million (around USD 7.7 million) into Thor’s 10-acre leased terminal, allowing substantial infrastructure improvement works and an additional 2.5 acres of container storage space.As part of this investment, a hybrid GBP 3.5 million Liebherr harbor crane will arrive in March 2019 to bolster eco-friendly operations, the port said.Since July 2014, Thor has trebled its tonnage through the two-berth terminal on King George Dock. It has a regular container and breakbulk service from its own shortsea operator – Sunline – connecting the UK with the East Coast of Sweden twice a week.The company also facilitates vessels three times a week to Zeebrugge and a breakbulk liner service every fortnight from Finland and Iceland.“This agreement shows that both ABP and Thor are confident in committing to support the Humber region for a substantial amount of time, so much so, it’s double the length of the previous contract agreed in 2014,” Chris Green, ABP Port Manager for Hull and Goole, commented.This year, Thor hopes to see its strongest performance yet and expects to handle one million tons of cargo. In addition to containers, Thor’s other core business concerns steel and timber which boost the efficiency of the operation and reduce carbon footprint.“We look forward to continually building upon our international trade and transport links, helping to put the Humber on the map as a key gateway for trade. It will enable us to realise and sustain future growth opportunities,” Thomas Bryan, Thor Shipping and Transport Managing Director, said.