Human Rights advocate, Mary Francis, has lauded renewed efforts to support Saint Lucian men ahead of International Men’s Day on Thursday.
She made specific mention of Police Officer, Martin James, who intends to set up a resource centre for men.
“Over the years I have always believed that the whole problem of human rights for women – the right to be free from domestic violence, most times it’s the men who are committing the acts,” Francis observed.
The outspoken Attorney at Law is also Coordinator of the National Centre for Legal Aid and Human Rights.
She expressed the view that unless men are taken on board, it will not be possible to end violence against women.
Francis said it is commendable that various organisations are seeking to establish support for men.
She noted that Saint Lucia faces many social problems.
The Human Rights Advocate observed that the prison is overflowing with males
“The young men – shootings and so forth, I believe attention must be paid to men. There are those who say that woman’s rights have been given too much attention over the years and I think that was rightly, so because women were those who were discriminated against in the society and were not receiving attention in terms of women’s rights and improving their dignity,” Francis asserted.
She said men are supposed to be making a contribution to the society and not perpetrating violence, if there are to be peaceful families and a peaceful society.
The Men’s Empowerment Network (MEN) is also being launched as a non-denominational joint initiative by men’s groups of three churches, The Anglican, Methodist and Wesleyan Holiness churches.
The Network says it has already identified some of its intended areas of focus including men’s health issues, especially prostate cancer, parenting, men as role models, domestic violence, substance abuse, child maintenance and suicide.
“The Men’s Empowerment Network plans to work alongside other like-minded groups, like one being spearheaded by Police Corporal Martin James, which is pursuing the establishment of a Men’s Resource Center on the island,” according to a statement from the organisers.