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News : Bahamas Information Services Updates Last Updated: Nov 19, 2020 - 12:03:32 AM

Campbell outlines ‘significant’ November observances
By Matt Maura
Nov 18, 2020 - 10:57:11 PM

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(BIS Photo/Kemuel Stubbs)

NASSAU, The Bahamas – Officials at the Ministry of Social Services and Urban Development, its Department of Gender and Family Affairs, their partners and the country’s non-governmental organizations (NGOs) are all gearing up to commemorate “six significant annual observances” that will take place during the month of November.

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 Sixteen 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 Thursday (November 19) with the celebration of International Men’s Day and the unveiling of the International Men’s Day Logo and Mural at the National Stadium as well as the facilitation of an Awards Ceremony.
Minister Campbell told House Members (Wednesday, November 18, 2020) that the 2020 theme for International Men’s Day – “Men’s Health and Wellbeing” – is “timely and very relevant to the men and boys of The Bahamas during this unprecedented and extraordinary global pandemic.”

Minister of Social Services and Urban Development, the Hon. Frankie A. Campbell, displays one of the T-Shirts and Masks available from Zonta Bahamas for wear during the 16 Days Campaign to End Violence Against Women and Girls and beyond, during his address in the House of Assembly, Wednesday. (BIS Photo/Kemuel Stubbs)

“It is imperative that all of us as men and young boys position and keep ourselves healthy so that we may protect our families. I am grateful for the various partnerships with public and private agencies associated with health and wellbeing and the many programmes organized to hold public discussions on issues such as maintaining good health, improving gender relations, promoting gender equity, highlighting positive male role models and discrimination against men and boys as well as celebrating their achievements and contributions to the family and the community as a whole.

“I encourage all Bahamians, especially men and young boys, to participate virtually in the activities so that we, as a country, can all be healthy,” Minister Campbell added.

The observance of World (Universal) Children’s Day will take place the next day, Friday, November 20. The Day has been observed annually by the Ministry, the National Child Protection Council (NCPC) and the Urban Renewal Commission, in partnership with the Department of Social Services, since  2012. The purpose of World (Universal) Children’s Day is to bring heightened awareness to the Convention on the Rights of the Child that was ratified by The Bahamas in 1991.
Minister 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.”

(BIS Photo/Kemuel Stubbs)

“To invest in something means to commit to it in order to gain a return; to spend or devote to for future advantage or benefit; to devote morally or psychologically as to a purpose; to endow with authority or power.”

Minister Campbell said the overarching theme of the Convention on the Rights to the Child focuses on the best interests of the child.

“The 54 Articles that it contains, explains that the child’s interests must be taken into consideration in every situation that involves the child. Children have the right to be provided and cared for, to be free from abuse or neglect and to be heard in maters that affect them,” Minister Campbell added.

Five days later, the focus will include the start of the International Campaign of Sixteen Days of Activism to End Violence Against Women and Girls, which will last until December 10 which is observed annually as International Human Rights Day.
Minister 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 (VAWG) 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,” Minister Campbell said.

Orange is the colour 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 – orange ribbons, scarfs, shoes, socks or orange accessories each Friday until December 10. We are all invited to join Zonta Bahamas as they lead the Sixteen Days of Activism to End Violence Against Women as declared by the United Nations and is being celebrated in more than 200 countries around the globe,” Minister Campbell added.

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.

“Fifty-eight years later, women continue to advocate for change in areas that concern them, among them, are an increase in laws and equal protections against discrimination, rape, abuse and violence against women, and increased health and social protections for women and children. These priorities will only be accomplished through a concerted effort by all.”

Minister 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.”

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