Grenada the first stop for OAS gender-based violence study
The OAS may soon be pushing for policy formulation against gender-based violence and violence against women, said OAS consultant, Dr Elsie Le Franc, during a seven-day visit to Grenada last week.
Le Franc, who specializes in gender relations, domestic violence and reproductive health in the Caribbean, said that she had been on the island carrying out research on gender-based violence and violence against women for the Inter-American Commission of Women (CIM). She said that this process, which has begun with Grenada, will be carried out in all Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) countries.
The CIM consultant, who has spoken to pretty much any organization or person that would furnish her with information on the issue, said that the data collection process had gone impressively well.
“I must say that I am really impressed by how advanced Grenada in this area, especially in comparison to other countries. Although it has its challenges, Grenada has been making a lot of good progress, especially on the legislative front,” she said.
Le Franc said that the stakeholders were very willing to contribute to the study.
“We’ve spoken to representatives from G-Now, the Ministry of Legal Affairs, the Ministry of Social Development, the Royal Grenada Police Force as well as other persons from the public and civil society, and they have all been very helpful and very supportive. The Ministry of Social Development has been very helpful in setting up the interviews,” she said.
Le Franc said that the OAS and CIM are very interested in gender-based violence and violence against women and in the long-term hopes to be able help to push policy formulation in the area.
“One of the things I know they are anxious to do eventually is to enable to the Governments to collect information on violence against women on a continuing basis in such a way that it can better inform policy,” she said.
She acknowledged, however, that in order to see significant change in the area of gender –based violence, take time and effort will be required.
‘It will be a long process, as attitudes and behaviours need to change,” she said.
The next stop for the CIM, during the month of October, is St Lucia, followed by the rest of OECS countries in early 2014.