Education on domestic violence a must

The head of the Institute for Gender Studies at the Cave Hill campus of the University of the West Indies Dr Charmaine Crawford, says there is need for more education on the issue of domestic violence.

Dr Crawford told Barbados TODAY that although there has been progress on the issue, with gender-based violence being a focus of programmes by the women’s movement and other organizations in the last few decades, more work still needs to be done.

“Whether it’s social activists, whether it’s in terms of policymakers and so forth, I think one of the things is people trying to fully understand [that] the violence that is perpetuated, particularly against women, is one around unequal power relations,” she said.

“And that is linked to how men relate to women in wider society, and how they may value or not value them, and the types of things they may use to keep control of them.”

Dr Crawford pointed out that there have been advancements in policy and advocacy among non-governmental organizations. However, she stressed that perpetrators of violence also needed to take responsibility for their actions.

She also called on the media to play their part in highlighting the issue and helping to effect change in beating this social scourge.

“I see the media’s role in terms of not only informing the public, but also playing a role in enhancing information and promoting more understanding of our society,” she said.

Dr Crawford was speaking on the sidelines of the launch of a proposed gender media code of ethical practice in reporting on issues of violence against women.

“I know that it’s a hard act for the media, in terms of balancing getting a good story, making it interesting and so forth [and] at the same time, ensuring that the human dignity of an individual is maintained. So I think that the code . . . sort of sets parameters for that,” she said.

The presentation of the proposed code coincided with the observance of 16 Days of Activism against gender-based violence, which runs from November 25 to December 10, International Human Rights Day.

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