Violence Against Women Fuels HIV Growth, Sparks New Caribbean Group Into Action
June 10, 2009
Sexual violence is driving the increase of HIV infection among girls and women in the Caribbean, say activists who have started an organization to fight the problem.
Deep-rooted stereotypes are at the base of the gender inequity contributing to the HIV crisis, says Roberta Clarke, regional program director in the Caribbean office of the UN Development Fund for Women. Women in Caribbean cultures are perceived as of less worth than men and are targets of male predatory behavior. At the same time, men are raised to believe that masculinity is tied to risk-taking, power and control, precocious sexual activity, and numerous sexual partners, she said.
CCWA has enlisted the support of political leaders throughout the region, including Dr. Jean Ramjohn Richards, the wife of Trinidad and Tobago's President George Maxwell Richards; Governor General of St. Lucia Dame Pearlette Louisy; and former Barbados Foreign Minister Dame Billie Miller.
CCWA's goals are in line with those of a similar international effort launched last year by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon. The seven-year "UNite to End Violence Against Women" campaign affirms that "violence against women is never acceptable, never excusable, never tolerable."
Caribbean Today (Miami)
04.09.2009; Peter Richards
This article was provided by CDC National Prevention Information Network. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update.