Spotlight Initiative’s impact on gender-based violence in Guyana discussed at ministerial forum

The just concluded Ministry of Human Services and Social Security’s Inaugural Ministerial Forum on Gender Equality and Empowerment focused heavily on the impact of the Spotlight Initiative on Guyana’s efforts to eradicate gender-based violence.

To this end, UN Resident Coordinator Yesim Oruc underscored that “Spotlight has helped catalyse in some places national ownership and in others has been able to support the lead of national drive towards gender equality and eradicating violence against women.”

UN Resident Coordinator Yesim Oruc

She was speaking on Friday at the closing of the forum at the Mariott Hotel, Georgetown.

Government officials, regional delegates, and advocates were urged to continue building partnerships and budgeting for gender response, including programmes and ministerial operations that focus on service delivery.

The Spotlight Initiative aims to eliminate all forms of violence against women and girls in line with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development through its six pillars: legislation, institutional strengthening, prevention, services, data and women’s rights and civil society.

Presenters highlighted noteworthy Spotlight Initiative programmes and interventions that are aligned with these pillars.

Initiatives to strengthen gender response in Guyana included training 2,000 police officers, equipping community members to spot gender-based violence, and providing technical and vocational skills training to vulnerable women and girls.

Human Services Minister, Dr. Vindhya Persaud in her closing remarks at the forum extended heartfelt gratitude to members of the Caribbean delegation for their participation.

Minister of Human Services and Social Security, Dr Vindhya Persaud addressing the delegates at the Ministerial forum

 “This could not be what it was without the invested participation of CARICOM brothers and sisters…I thank you… because it is not only the conversation that we had, the shared experiences that meant so much to each one of us that we learnt from it, but what came out of it was the united and formidable front that we will now work with our own energies for the wider benefit of our Caribbean families,” she expressed.

Presentations were made by the European Union, ChildLink, Guyana Liaison Office, UNICEF and UNDP, among several others.

The final day also saw the delegates visiting some of Guyana’s key facilities such as the Learning Lab, and Hope and Justice facility, as well as the National Agricultural Research and Extension Institute.

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