As part of the 20th Anniversary of the adoption of the Inter-American Convention on the Prevention, Punishment and Eradication of Violence against Women (Convention of Belem do Para), the CIM in partnership with the Division of Gender Relations of Saint Lucia, held the Second OAS Conference entitled: Evaluating National Initiatives and Producing Comparative Data on Violence against Women for the OECS States.
This conference took place in Saint Lucia from September 23rd to September 24th, 2014 and it presented the results of the sub-regional review of state and civil society programmes of the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) to address violence against women within the last decade. The Conference was inaugurated by Melene Glynn, OAS Representative to Saint Vincent and the Grenadines and Marcia Symphorien, CEVI Expert for Saint Lucia; provided an overview of implementation of the Convention of Belem do Para in the OECS sub-region in which she identified the gaps, challenges and achievements.
Hon. Alvina Reynolds, Saint Lucia’s Principal Delegate to the CIM and its Minister for Health, Wellness, Human Services and Gender Relations in delivering the keynote address highlighted that: “Improving the management of data on violence against women is critical for a better understanding of the scope of the problem and for monitoring intervention programmes.” She viewed the Conference as providing “an excellent opportunity to increase the level of the sub-regional corporation as we exchange best practices, and learn from each other’s experiences how to use our collective skills and resources, to present innovative, sustainable and effective responses to gender-based violence in each of our countries.”
A Roundtable was also held on men as victims and perpetrators of gender-based violence, which began an important and timely conversation in the OECS sub-region. At the Conference, it was recommended that the sub-regional results be presented to the OECS policymakers following its validation by technical stakeholders.