Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, Hon. Olivia Grange, is welcoming the establishment of a shelter for abused women, by Woman Inc, with funding of $14 million by the Embassy of Japan.
Speaking at the handover of the facility in St. Andrew, today (August 19), the Minister noted that the development was made possible through partnering with Woman Inc, her Ministry, and the people of Japan.
She said the milestone is one of elation, as the project is providing a “transitional space for survivors of domestic violence at a time when we are making progress in the implementation of our National Shelter Strategy,” Minister Grange said in a speech delivered on her behalf by Director of the National Shelter Programme in her Ministry, Dr. Tamika Peart.
The Minister underscored that the National Shelter Strategy is critical to the Government’s policy to eliminate gender-based violence, and the Bureau of Gender Affairs is providing a coordinated effort to rescue women from domestic violence “to a safe space.
“We are certain that provision of this housing arrangement will be most useful for women and their children to start a chapter of hope. Transitional housing gives victims and survivors of violence the opportunity to regroup, assess current circumstances, create strategies for independence, and earning an income,” she said.
The house was renovated with finance from the Embassy of Japan’s Grassroots and Human Security Programme, and Executive Director of Woman Inc, Joyce Hewett, used the occasion to urge women not to suffer in silence when help is available.
“With the opening of this grand part of our journey for Woman Inc, we can afford to allow women who need that space to come, and get themselves together, become empowered, and move on with the rest of their journey,” the Executive Director stated.
First Secretary and Director of Economic and Cooperation at the Embassy, Noriko Oshima, said the residents are expected to live at the facility without risk of harm, and will also be able to take training classes in skills that empower them. “We strongly believe that gender equality and promoting women’s empowerment are essential for realising quality growth,” she told the ceremony.