Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Gibraltar and the Campo join for International Women's Day

In commemoration of International Women’s Day a special event was held in Gibraltar at The Mount organised by Women in Need and Association Victoria Kent from Algeciras for the prevention of ill-treatment of women.

Opening the session, Social Affairs Minister Yvette del Agua, spoke of the importance of International Women’s Day.

“It is the day in which women all over the world, irrespective of ethnic, cultural, economic or political differences, come together to commemorate and celebrate nine decades of common fight for equality of rights,” she said.

But Mrs Del Agua added that despite the advancement in many spheres of gender equality, there still exists the grave problem of domestic violence which affected millions of women all over the world – a problem which not just affected all societies but was found in all levels of society.

“It does not distinguish between races, religions or class. Not even the most powerful and most developed countries are exempt from it. Globally, 52 percent of women have suffered abuse from their partners at some point in their lives. In the most influential and richest country in the world, the USA, a woman is beaten by her partner every 9 seconds.

The main cause of serious injury to women in that country is at the hands of her partner, much more than as a result of rape, muggings or traffic accidents.”

“The problem with statistics is that they are cold, impersonal and do not realistically reflect the seriousness of the situation or the pain and anguish that is experienced by these women, their children and immediate families.

As a woman, a mother, and a politician, I would like to see a much more concerted effort on the part of all sectors of all societies, directed at more forcefully combating domestic violence and assisting the victims of the same.”

She ended by saying that although women had come a long way in asserting their rights as equals, women would not be able to achieve complete liberation, until the ugly shadow of domestic violence was eradicated.

Speakers on the day included Miguel Tornay, Psychologist and La Linea City Councillor, and the president of the Victoria Kent Association Maribel Garcia Revilla.

Participating in the event was the Gibraltar National Choir.

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