This month Women’s March Global released our fourth of 5 actions to EndVAW (Violence Against Women). In partnership with our network of Global Chapters we are running a mini-course called “Our Community”. Through this mini-course, we are making visible the issues women face in their local communities and emphasising that women’s experiences of violence are not isolated.
Our Global Chapters are sharing their experiences and the grassroots actions they are taking to advance women’s rights. This Webinar platform gives our Chapters the opportunity to showcase the global voice of the movement, engage in dialogue, and share stories across borders and timezones.
As part of the “Our Community” Mini-Course, Women’s March Global was in conversation with Natalee Stack, Chapter Ambassador for Women’s March Kingston, Jamaica. Natalee joined our Global Community in response to the growing violence she witnessed against women and girls in Jamaica. For the past decade, Jamaica has seen an increase in violence against women; the UN’s first national survey reporting that more than 1 in every 4 women experience intimate partner violence in their lifetime.
Women’s March Kingston is working tirelessly to raise awareness of what is happening to women and girls in their communities, call for legislative action by the government and create a supportive space for women within Jamaica.
Natalee emphasised that the violence faced by women in Jamaica is a state of public emergency and public health concern. However there is a systematic ineffectiveness that prevents the adequate protection of women and girls. For example, the Sexual Harassment Act that would better protect women in their home, workplace and the street, has been removed from the parliamentary agenda multiple times since 2015. Natalee highlighted that laws must be strengthened and enforced to the fullest extent, and “while women are underrepresented in Jamaica’s politics, the women who are in parliament need to speak out more, likewise the men”.
“I want to encourage women and men to keep up the fight because violence against women and girls is a real issue in society, even more in underdeveloped nations. When our society is permeated with violence against us, our quality of life decreases. It affects our children and families.
In order fo us to be a healthy society we have to ensure that our women and girls are safe and have the freedom to life.” — Natalee Stack