NASSAU, BAHAMAS — The Ministry of Social Services, partners and NGOs are gearing up to commemorate “six significant annual observances” that will take place during the month of November and leading into December.
These include International Men’s Day, World (Universal) Children’s Day, the International Day to End Violence Against Women and Girls, the National Observance of the Women’s Suffrage Movement and the International Campaign of 16 Days of Activism to End Violence Against Women and Girls, which will conclude December 10 which is observed annually as International Human Rights Day.
The observances get underway today with the celebration of International Men’s Day and the unveiling of the International Men’s Day Logo and Mural at the National Stadium. Minister of Social Services Frankie Campbell told House of Assembly members yesterday that the 2020 theme for International Men’s Day, “Men’s Health and Well-being”, is “timely and very relevant to the men and boys of The Bahamas during this unprecedented and extraordinary global pandemic”.
The observance of World (Universal) Children’s Day will take place tomorrow, Friday, November 20. Its purpose is to bring heightened awareness to the Convention on the Rights of the Child that was ratified by The Bahamas in 1991. Campbell said the 2020 theme, “Investing in Our Future Means Investing in Our Children”, encourages all to “re-examine the way we have been relating to children”. He added that the overarching theme of the Convention on the Rights to the Child focuses on the best interests of the child.
Five days later, the focus will include the start of the International Campaign of 16 Days of Activism to End Violence Against Women and Girls, which will last until International Human Rights Day. Campbell said the dates for the campaign were chosen to link violence against women and human rights and emphasize that gender-based violence against women is a violation of human rights.
“Violence against women and girls is one of the most widespread, persistent and devastating human rights violations in our world today and remains largely unreported due to the impunity, silence, stigma and shame surrounding it,” he said.
“Orange is the color being used to reflect on ways and reasons why we need to collectively end all forms of violence against women and each other. Today, I encourage the Bahamian public to wear something orange…each Friday until December 10. We are all invited to join Zonta Bahamas as they lead the 16 Days of Activism to End Violence Against Women as declared by the United Nations and [as] is being celebrated in more than 200 countries around the globe.”
Another significant observance scheduled for November is the annual National Observance of the Women’s Suffrage Movement (November 26) which resulted in women voting for the first time on November 26, 1962.
Campbell applauded the organizers of the observances for the efforts in bringing awareness to the events.
“I salute the leaders and members of the International Men’s Day Bahamas Committee, Zonta, the National Women’s Advisory Council (NWAC), the Crisis Centre, the Caribbean Institute for Women in Leadership (CIWIL), the National Trade Union of The Bahamas, all NGO partners and the staff of the Ministry of Social Services and Urban Development and the Department of Gender and Family Affairs.
“I encourage all Bahamians to support and participate (virtually) in all of the observances that I have highlighted.”