The Rt. Rev. Howard Gregory, Bishop of Jamaica & The Cayman Islands and the Rev. Sean Major-Campbell, Rector of Christ Church, Vineyard Town, joined several civil society groups on November 25 in a Silent Protest to commemorate the International day to Eliminate Violence against Women (IDEVAW)
The initiative, which was mounted for the second consecutive year, involved some 300 persons who marched from the Police Officers Club to Half Way Tree. Many of the participants covered their mouths to symbolise the high levels of under-reporting of violence against women and girls, and the culture of rape that often pushes women into silence.
Both Bishop Gregory and Fr. Major-Campbell addressed the marchers, affirming the role and work of the Church in human rights, and also in promoting the fourth Mark of Mission which calls on members “To challenge violence, injustice and oppression, and work for peace and reconciliation.”
Organisers of the Silent Protest/March included Jamaica Aids Support for Life, AIDS Health Care Foundation, Eve for Life, The Family Planning Association of Jamaica, Woman Inc. and J-FLAG/We Change.
The Silent Protest/March launched 16 days of activism against gender-based violence and this will culminate on December 10, which is observed worldwide as International Human Rights Day.
It is estimated that one in three women will experience physical or sexual violence at some point in their life; and more than one in ten girls have experienced forced sex. The International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women was designated by the United Nations to combat and raise awareness of this global threat; and it was first observed in 2000.