Stop the violence against women in the Caribbean sign now

In solidarity with the women of the Caribbean against violence and abuse.
The figures continue to alarm us. Enough is enough!
The situation regarding violence and abuse against women in the Caribbean is serious. In 1998, some 100 women were murdered in Jamaica and most of these deaths occurred as a result of domestic violence. In that same year 109 rapes were reported and almost 4,000 cases of assault against women.
In Trinidad and Tobago, for instance, where the Parliament recently passed amended legislation dealing with domestic violence, incidents against women and children, including murder are also on the rise.
According to survey in Guyana, one in five women had experienced physical abuse; the majority of women in this same survey, or more than 65 per cent, had no knowledge of the Domestic Violence Act (67.5\%).
We recognise the efforts that men and women across the Caribbean are making to eradicate violence and abuse. We also recognise the need for support from all those opposed to violence and abuse against women and its root causes.
We believe that the poverty throughout the region, not least due to the debt stranglehold imposed by the IMF, the World Bank and the World Trade Organisation, plays a significant role in making it more difficult for: an independent income, childcare and transportation, for example, to be provided to those women who want to escape domestic violence; and for women to organise themselves for a better standard of living.
Programs insisted upon by the IMF, the World Bank and the WTO force governments to privatise resources and eliminate social services which are crucial to womens well being, therefore increasing gender inequality and increasing cases of violence.
Therefore, we call on the Caribbean governments to show an increased commitment to protecting their women by seriously addressing the cultural, economic, legal and political factors which perpetuate violence against women.

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Virginia BrowningBy:
Technology and the InternetIn:
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Leaders of Caribbean governments

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