Gender Affairs Minister Dr. Virginia Albert-Poyotte has said that the problem of male violence in Saint Lucia needs an ‘all-of-society’ approach.
“The national security threat posed by the increase in male violence has understandably grabbed the attention of several agencies and partners engaged in national development,” she stated.
“An all-of-society approach to this national threat is exactly what is required at this point,” she asserted.
Albert-Poyotte, Minister of Home Affairs, commended all agencies and individuals contributing to tackling the issue.
She did so in a statement marking International Men’s Day.
The Minister said the Department of Gender Affairs recognises its critical role of public sensitisation and education on gender norms and stereotypes and how they impact expectations and demands on men, the roles prescribed for men, and the consequences imposed for non-compliance to these expectations and roles.
“Our commitment, therefore, for this International Men’s Day is to initiate, during this year, a comprehensive and systematic process of national sensitisation of gender norms to raise awareness of how they underlie gender roles and power relations,” the Babonneau MP stated.
“We want to ensure that gender is on every agenda. Although our initial thrust will be to support our men to live free from violence, it will be beneficial to all because it will shed light on how women and men can support each other,” the Minister stated.
Saint Lucia chose the theme ‘Supporting Men To Live Free From Violence’ for International Men’s Day, observed on November 19.
Albert-Poyotte declared that Saint Lucia is experiencing a surge in violent crime, particularly among younger males.
In addition, she observed that there are more men at the Bordelais Correctional Facility and males at the Boys Training Centre detained for inappropriate behaviour and crimes, outweighing those accessing care and protection.
The Minister noted the global prevalence of more male than female suicides.
She also stated that the death of women at the hands of men in Saint Lucia is the highest it has been in history, and young men dying at the hands of each other have reached disturbing rates in the last six years.
As a result, Albert-Poyotte urged support and consideration for Saint Lucian men.
“We are, after all, one people, as our theme for Independence this year reminds us, – Douvant Ensamn: We move forward together,” the Minister said.