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OBA backs Government moves to create gender affairs office

Call for equality: Victoria Cunningham, of the One Bermuda Alliance (file photograph)

The Opposition One Bermuda Alliance is backing the Government’s plans to tackle domestic violence.

Last week, Tinée Furbert, the Minister of Social Development and Seniors, said that a gender affairs office was being planned to examine the issues of domestic violence and inequalities.

Today Victoria Cunningham, the OBA approved candidate for Devonshire North Central constituency, said that the party fully supported the proposal.

Describing domestic violence as “an epidemic”, Ms Cunningham said: “Back in November last year, I called for the creation of a gender affairs office following the sharp increase being seen in domestic abuse cases in Bermuda during the pandemic.

“The One Bermuda Alliance fully supports this proposal and is prepared to assist the Government with making this happen. We also support the work of the United Nations Women’s branch and hope that we are successful in joining the programme.”

Ms Furbert said a request was made to work with UN Women, the United Nations branch that is dedicated to gender equality and the empowerment of women.

Ms Cunningham added: “Domestic violence has become an epidemic in Bermuda, accounting for one third of cases going through the DPP office and the major source of police call-outs.

“A gender affairs office would be able to collect information on these cases and could promote programmes and educate our schools and the community.

“Domestic violence does not discriminate — it occurs in our neighbourhoods and our families. Anyone can be a victim.”

The OBA has tabled a Bill in the House of Assembly designed to strengthen human rights laws and promote equality. The Bill has yet to be debated.

Ms Cunningham said: “Our legislation proposes to create an equality council at the Human Rights Commission which would promote equality, opportunity and equal pay in the workforce.

“This equality council could work alongside the gender affairs office in ensuring equality for all, regardless of race, sex or other protected ground.

“The One Bermuda Alliance believes that we must eliminate all barriers of inequality. We believe all Bermudians should be treated equally and have equal opportunities to participate in our economy and our community.”

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Published February 23, 2022 at 4:41 pm (Updated February 23, 2022 at 6:50 pm)

OBA backs Government moves to create gender affairs office

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