Domestic Violence, AIDS & how Caribbean Women affected to be examined at the Partners’ Forum of the Commonwealth Women’s Affairs Ministers’ Meeting (WAMM) – June 4th & 5th

Economic insecurity, violence, HIV/AIDS are some of the critical issues currently facing Caribbean women and come next month these are expected to be addressed at the Partners’ Forum of the Commonwealth Women’s Affairs Ministers’ Meeting (WAMM) scheduled for June 4 and 5.

gender-equalityProviding support for this event are the Caribbean Policy Development Centre (CPDC), the National Organisation of Women Barbados (NOW), the Bureau of Gender Affairs with assistance from the Ministry of Youth, Family and Sports.

Recent research indicates that across the region 43.5 per cent of households are headed by women who do not benefit from the income of a resident spouse, and receiving child support is sporadic, inadequate and fraught with indignity.

Female unemployment is higher than male unemployment in every country of the region; additionally women earn 70% and less of the income earned by males of comparable education. Further, the majority of employed women are concentrated in low-waged sectors of the economy; and in the informal sector, they do not have social security and maternity benefit, even more concerning is the harsh conditions they work under.

It has also been revealed that poverty affects slightly more women, than men – and the nature of poverty is more intense for women due to their greater responsibility for the wellbeing of all members of the family. There are also indications that an increasing number of elderly women are without pensions and poor relief, while men are homeless.

There is also an increase in the sexual molestation of female and male children posing severe challenges for households and child care institutions, meanwhile a survey conducted in 2009 on behalf of the Bureau of Gender Affairs in Barbados discovered a high incidence of all forms of violence against women comparable to that of other countries in the region.

Despite legislation prohibiting such acts, more frequent reporting, and enhanced expertise among police and other personnel to respond to complaints physical and emotional abuse – including financial neglect and deliberate deprivation – sexual molestation and violence against women continue to escalate.

Women are still the most susceptible to HIV infection, with the 15 – 35 age group registering higher vulnerability. The Caribbean is repeatedly cited as one part of the world with a growing incidence of AIDS cases in relation to its population.

Though alarming there are solutions to the struggles of Caribbean women, among them – a living wage or family wage for women who currently do not enjoy decent work (work in which rights are protected, income and social security are adequate) and a policy of non-punitive measures to encourage men to support their children financially and emotionally.

To stem the tide of violence against women a collective effort is needed The Partners’ Forum suggests that all institutions of society must work in tandem and take measures to discourage the acts that lead to violence.

For example, tantrums should be discouraged and reprimanded; anger management learnt at a very early age, sexual harassment should not be tolerated anywhere, sentencing of perpetrators of violence against women must be reflect the seriousness of the crime.

In the fight against HIV the state must provide treatment, medication and care for all persons living with AIDS so that its spread may be minimised.

During the WAMM conference the Partners will present a template of how civil society and governments can work in greater partnership to attain the goals of the Gender Plan of Action.

The Forum will also offer the expertise of women‘s organisations in various countries to develop a model of decentralised planning that allocates resources to women in a more targeted way.

The approach maximizes human development, and demonstrates women’s real contribution to national revenue and productivity.

7 Responses

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  1. Has anyone ever been to a Women’s Empowerment? This yrs conference was a excellent experience! Laila Ali was the keynote lecturer and she rocked the house, excellent entertainment as well. I flew in to NC from Columbus, totally worth it!

  2. Please allow me to introduce myself. My name is Gretchen Paules and I am the Administrative Director for a newly formed nonprofit called the Let Go…Let Peace Come In Foundation. Our mission at LGLPCI is to help heal and support adult survivors of childhood sexual abuse worldwide. We are actively seeking adult survivors who would be willing to post their childhood photo & caption, their story, or their creative expressions to our website By uniting survivors from around the globe we hope to provide a stronger and more powerful voice to those survivors who have not yet found the courage to speak out or have been cast aside with disbelief.

    I am writing to you today to ask you to please consider sharing our website with survivors you may come in contact with. Worldwide there are more than 100 million adult survivors living with the effects of childhood sexual abuse today. It is through the support of courageous advocates like you that we will succeed in our effort to help one survivor at a time. Our organization offers survivors a safe and judgment-free place where they can tell their story and continue their healing process. We realize that customs differ from culture to culture and we offer to post any stories anonymously, if the survivors so desires. Please check out our youtube video at If you have any questions please feel free to e-mail me directly at Together we can; together we should; together we NEED to stand up and be counted.

    Warmest Regards,
    Gretchen Paules
    Administrative Director
    Let Go…Let Peace Come In Foundation
    630 W. Germantown Pike, Suite 180
    Plymouth Meeting, PA 19462

  3. ?Anger is meant to be listened to. Anger is a voice a shout, a plea, a demand. Anger is meant to be respected. Why? Because anger is a map. Anger shows us where our boundaries are. Anger shows us where we want to go. It lets us see where we have been and lets us know when we have not liked it. Anger is meant to be acted upon, it is not meant to be acted out. Sloth, apathy and despair are the enemy. Anger is not. Anger is our friend. Not a nice friend. Not a gentle friend. But a very very loyal friend. It will always tell us when we have been betrayed. It will always tell us when we have betrayed ourselves. It will always tell us it is time to act in our own best interest?.

  4. when i was younger (10 – 13 yrs) i used to get so mad that i would start hitting things and get very violent, until one day i relized that being violent was no way to deal with my anger, so i decided that i needed to find a new way, well i got really deep into video games and working on computers, so i used to build or repair computers, and also play video games to Relieve my stress and anger

  5. He is 16 and I am worried he is dangerous to himself, his girlfriend, and both of our families.

  6. My son recently has gotten his first girlfriend and since then he has been absolutely obsessed. They talk on the phone for at least 5 hours a day and see each other before, during and after school. I am not exaggerating…he talks non-stop. Within 2 days they were saying “I love you” and when I said he was going fast he would either hit me or call me dumb or jealous.

  7. My husband is a wonderful guy. However at times he needs space away (especially when we’re arguing over something). I try to finish of something and get fraustrated when he walks off. When I try to say something later, he gets angry and then unfortunately pushes me away or shoves the door in my face.


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