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“Leave No One Behind; End Violence Against Women & Girls”

On Saturday countries around the world will commemorate International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women. The day marks the commencement of the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence Campaign. The theme this year is “Leave no one behind; end violence against women and girls”. It is a time when several organizations incite action to end violence against women and girls around the world. In Belize, one such organization is the Office of the Special Envoy for Woman and Children which gathered its partners in Belize City today. Special Envoy Kim Simplis Barrow spoke about the worldwide realities of gender-based violence.

Special Envoy Kim Simplis Barrow

“Each year millions of people around the world are bullied, assaulted, abused and murdered, usually by someone they know. In our own country, there are persons coping with the negative effects of some form of gender-based violence which affects the wellbeing, school achievement, and overall productivity. A new challenge we face comes from advances in technology and the rise of new media which provides perpetrators with new ways of fueling violence through cyberbullying. Ladies and gentlemen the right to live free of violence depend on the protection of human rights and a strong change of accountability. Globally Belize and all other nations have adopted the sustainable development goals where violence is addressed in a holistic way, however, we know that agreements, conventions, and laws alone will not address the challenges that they face- they merely offer a platform through which to focus. As citizens of Belize we all have a responsibility to be advocates for the elimination of gender-based violence, we need a more comprehensive, coordinated and multi-sectoral approach to this problem; this includes efforts from government officials, the private sector, civil society and the media.”

The 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence Campaign ends on December 10, Human Rights Day.