The Directorate of Gender Affairs closed out the national observance of the 16 Days of Activism period by hosting a candle light vigil.
The event was held at Edris’ Parking lot in St. John’s on Friday 10th December and was meant to remember and honor women who have lost their lives to gender based violence over the years, in Antigua and Barbuda.
The Minister with responsibility for Gender Affairs was present and in his remarks to the crowd stated that “We all have a basic and fundamental human right to live free from violence and the government of Antigua and Barbuda will continue to take a zero tolerance approach towards those who exhibit or carry out violent behavior towards others.”
He also added that “we can continue to be guided by the theme for this year, which is orange the world, end violence against women now. A decisive call for us to be proactive and relentless in our battle against gender based violence.”
The Acting Executive Director of the Directorate of Gender Affairs, Mr. Jamie Saunders, expressed that the candle light vigil provided a unique opportunity to both pay respect to women who have passed away due to senseless acts of violence, as well as to reflect on and assess where we are in our efforts to end gender based violence.
Saunders stated that “the department intends to continue to work diligently to ensure adequate advocacy, programs, resources and rehabilitation mechanisms are brought on stream to tackle the issue in a multidimensional and holistic way.’’
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