Revamped transition house coming for victims of gender-based violence

Revamped transition house coming for victims of gender-based violence

Wednesday, March 06, 2019

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THE Embassy of Japan is partnering with the Government and Woman Incorporated to refurbish a transition house for female victims and survivors of gender-based violence.

A $14-million contract, funded under the Grant Assistance for Grassroots Human Security Projects of Japan, was signed on February 27 by Japanese Ambassador to Jamaica, Hiromasa Yamazaki, and gender specialist and acting executive director of Woman Inc, Joyce Hewett.

The Woman Inc project, with support from the Bureau of Gender Affairs (BGA), an agency of the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, will involve the renovation of a 30-year-old building to a transition house. Female residents at the facility will be able to attend skills training classes to prepare them to be independent.

Speaking at the signing ceremony held in the boardroom of the Public Broadcasting Corporation of Jamaica in Kingston, Ambassador Hiromasa said Japan is pleased to provide financial assistance to address the issue of gender-based violence in Jamaica.

He said that the main objective of Japan’s development cooperation is human security, which is a concept that “pursues the right of individuals to live happily and in dignity, free from fear and to ensure their protection and empowerment”.

The ambassador noted that Japan will be introducing an empowerment initiative for women at the upcoming World Assembly for Woman (WAW!) 2019 in Tokyo next month.

“We expect to promote the movement of enhancing women’s empowerment in the world. We strongly believe that gender equality and promoting women’s empowerment are essential for realising quality growth,” he said.

Ambassador Hiromasa said Japan is fully committed to fostering closer ties with Jamaica.

“Many of you may already know that 55 years ago, Japan and Jamaica established diplomatic relations and our friendly partnership started,” he added.

The ambassador commended the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, Woman Inc, civil society and other stakeholders for forming partnerships to address gender-based issues in the country.

Meanwhile, Director of policy and research (acting) at the Bureau of Gender Affairs, Kristal Tucker Clarke, said that victims of abuse will be able to stay a longer time at the transition home, noting that individuals are only able to stay for temporary periods (no longer than three months) at emergency shelters.

She said the partnership resulted from a courtesy call involving officials of the Embassy of Japan and the Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport Olivia Grange, when the minister requested support in the matter of gender-based violence.

Tucker Clarke thanked the Government and people of Japan for accepting the proposal to fund the project, and the BGA for providing technical assistance for the application of the grant.

She also commended former Japan International Cooperation Agency volunteer at the BGA, Mia Akita, who provided guidance through the application process.

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