April 25 Is ‘Orange Day’

Image of Catherine Sealy

St. Lucia To Campaign Against Sexual Violence Against Females.

Image of Catherine Sealy
Catherine Sealy

SAINT Lucians from all strata of the society have been called on to orange their day on April 25..

The call comes from the group ‘Raise Your Voice St. Lucia Inc’ which has been pushing for the end to sexual violence against women and girls.

“We are asking people to dress on that day to show their support for the call to end sexual violence against women,” said Catherine Sealys, a member of the group.

The call to dress in orange or to display something in orange is the unifying symbol the world over in protest against sexual violence against women.

It is part of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, a set of 17 global goals that apply to all countries that are signatories to the policies and programmes of the UN.

These goals include gender equality and women’s empowerment as a key priority and includes specific targets to end violence against women and girls.

“April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month. Join us on the 25th of this month; let us all dress in orange, dress our show windows, our businesses and our offices in orange and say no to sexual violence,” Sealys said.

This year the UN UNiTE Campaign will continue to mark the 25th of every month as “Orange Day,” a day to raise awareness and take action to end violence against women and girls. Orange Days, the UN notes, will highlight specific sustainable Development goals as they relate to violence against women and girls.

And according to the UN, the global goals are for everyone, and to fully achieve them, everyone has a role to play in ending gender inequality and violence.

According to the UN a staggering one in three women have experienced physical or sexual violence in their lifetime—a pandemic of global proportions.

“Unlike an illness, however, perpetrators and even entire societies choose to commit violence—and can choose to stop. Violence is not inevitable. It can be prevented. But it’s not as straightforward as eradicating a virus. There is no vaccine, medication or cure. And there is no one single reason why it happens. As such, prevention strategies should be holistic, with multiple interventions undertaken in parallel in order to have long-lasting and permanent effects,” noted the UN on its website.

Saint Lucia police, governmental sectors and non-government organizations are now engaged in attempts to stop sexual violence against women and girls.

The suggestions that have come out so far range from women confronting their attackers head-on to the formation of a police and Cabinet of Ministers task force to assist the Vulnerable Persons Unit of the police force in the enactment of legislation to deal with the varied problems confronting women and girls in the society.

Like the UN suggested, many sectors, actors and stakeholders need to be engaged to fight the scourge of rape and other violent acts against females in the society.

“More evidence is emerging on what interventions work to prevent violence—from community mobilization to change social norms, to comprehensive school interventions targeting staff and pupils, to economic empowerment and income supplements coupled with gender equality training,” notes the UN.

Just this week police appeared baffled as to their next move in the suspicious death of 20 year old Jennifer Edwin whose lifeless body was found on the ground in her community of Dugard, Micoud.

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