Program to Raise Awareness about Gender-Based Violence in Bahamas

U.S. Government Funds Conferences, Grants to Combat Violence Against
Women

FREEPORT, Bahamas–(BUSINESS WIRE)–With funding from the U.S. Government, the Pan American Development
Foundation (PADF) is launching a women’s initiative for non-violence in
the Bahamas.

Gender-based violence “constitutes a major public health issue” in the
Bahamas, according to a 2015 report published by the Bahamas Ministry of
Social Services and Community Development. Three Caribbean countries
have among the highest recorded incidents of rape in the world: The
Bahamas, followed by St. Vincent & The Grenadines and Jamaica, the
report states.

The Women’s Initiative for Non-Violence and Development (WIND) seeks to
improve the capacity of law enforcement, the justice sector and
communities to respond to and prevent gender-based violence in the
Bahamas. The initiative aims to raise awareness and share information
and best practices among agencies in order to better address this issue.

PADF will host four conferences around the United Nations’ International
Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women (IDEVAW), observed on
November 25.

The first WIND conference will be held in Freeport, Grand Bahama on
November 29, followed by a conference in Nassau, New Providence, on
December 1. Additional events will be held in Marsh Harbour, Abaco (Dec
2); and Knowles, Cat Island (Dec 2).

“The key to combatting gender-based violence is to bring it out into the
open,” says Liza Mantilla, Director of Disaster Management of PADF. “The
first step is awareness. In order to tackle the problem head-on, we need
to talk about it. Together, we can find ways that communities can work
together to react appropriately when it occurs, but also to prevent it
from happening.”

This year’s United Nations observance highlights the need for funding
for initiatives that prevent and end gender-based violence. According to
the UN’s UNiTE campaign, adequate funding is essential to bring “real
and significant changes in the lives of women and girls.”

With support from the U.S. Government, WIND will also provide financial
support through grants to nonprofits in the Bahamas to strengthen their
programming.

“Violence against women is a global problem,” says a U.S. Embassy
Spokesperson. “Our hope is that through WIND events, stakeholders will
receive the tools needed to take the message of prevention back to their
own communities. We are also committed to supporting nonprofits in the
Bahamas that are already carrying out the important work of violence
prevention and to provide them with the information needed to succeed
and grow.”

All events are free. Registration required. To participate, e-mail wind@padf.org.

Women’s Initiative for Non-Violence and Development (WIND) Conference
Schedule:

Freeport, Grand Bahama
Tuesday, November 29, 2016
9:00 am –
3:00 pm Registration starts at 8:30 am
Cornelius A. Smith
Complex
Mall
Drive

Nassau, New Providence
Thursday, December 1, 2016
9:00 am –
3:00 pm Registration starts at 8:30 am
Grace Community Church
Herbert L. Treco
Fellowship & Hospitality Centre
21 Grace
Avenue, Palmetto Village
(Off Marathon Road)

Marsh Harbour, Abaco
Friday, December 2, 2016
9:00 am – 3:00
pm Registration starts at 8:30 am
Burial Society
Dundas Town

Knowles, Cat Island
Friday, December 2, 2016
9:00 am – 3:00 pm
Registration starts at 8:30 am
Media Center
Knowles Village

About PADF

PADF operates throughout Latin America and the Caribbean to generate
economic opportunities, advance social progress, strengthen civil
society, and prepare for and respond to natural disasters and
humanitarian crises. In 2015, the Foundation reached more than 17
million people in 21 countries. Headquartered in Washington D.C., PADF
has field offices and projects throughout Latin America and the
Caribbean. www.padf.org

Contacts

Pan American Development Foundation (PADF)
Hearly G. Mayr
Director
of Communications and Public Affairs
+1-202-280-3846
hmayr@padf.org