“Challengers assemble” on IWD2021

The United Nations first celebrated International Women’s Day on March 8, 1977 to highlight the achievements of women in the cultural, social, economic and political spheres. Calls for greater gender inclusiveness and parity also mark the occasion. International Women’s Day does not belong to a single group but rather any individual or organization that sees the need to mobilize and speak out against gender inequality. This year’s campaign is #ChooseToChallenge from the theme “A challenged world is an alert world, and from challenge comes change, so let’s all choose to challenge”. For it is only through resistance to the status quo that paradigm shifts can occur in terms of the place of women in society. As part of this campaign, the public is called to make commitments that identify and confront gender bias and inequality.

One of the issues that takes the fore during International Women Day is the centuries-old phenomenon of domestic violence. The discourse around gender-based violence typically centers around battered heterosexual women and male perpetrators. In recent times, more awareness has been raised on the different forms the issue takes and the diversity of those affected by it. However, there is still room for more education on this issue with respect to intimate-partner violence against LBT (Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender) women. Domestic violence is a multi-faceted issue in general and when dealing with marginalized women, it becomes even more complex due to bigotry, lack of understanding and lack of sensitivity.

In 2015, the former Director of the Division of Gender Relations in St. Lucia remarked that perpetrators of “economic, emotional and social abuse” typically face no legal consequences but in cases of what is deemed to be severe abuse, where there is sexual or physical abuse, there may be arrests. She identified the “lengthy court processes” and adjournments stemming from perpetrators not being served in time, as some of the biggest challenges in the execution of justice for victims of gender-based violence. The lack of resources is another issue faced in prosecuting such crimes. Some non-profit organizations have emerged to supplement governmental efforts to assist survivors such as HERStoire, Raise Your Voice Slu, PROSAF and The Saint Lucia Crisis Centre.  It should be noted that St. Lucia currently awaits the enactment of an ‘inclusive’ domestic violence bill and we call on the necessary policy makers to act on this promise for International women’s day.  This bill would signal St. Lucia’s commitment to protecting our women regardless of gender identity or sexual orientation. In light of the recent spate of violent attacks against women, the relevant stakeholders should commit its support for comprehensive solutions.

The dominance of Christianity and the inheriting of British laws against same-sex relationships, have led to an unfavourable perception of the LGBTQI community. This is a major hurdle in the reporting of intimate-partner violence against LBT women. Although they are more likely to be abused by their partner, they generally choose not to report it to the police because of fear of being ridiculed or even prosecuted. Those who have reported the abuse generally leave feeling like they have been re-victimized by those who are supposed to help them. Though this is rarely enforced, same-sex attracted persons could be criminalized for “buggery” and “serious indecencies” under the country’s Penal Code. Thus, reporting incidences of domestic violence by their same-sex partner would implicate them. To combat this, new legislation needs to be enacted to ensure protections for LBT women who are survivors/victims of intimate-partner violence.

There must be considerations in our domestic violence laws for the investigation and prosecution of violence against women who identify as LBT. Our empathy for battered women should not be exclusive to cisgender heterosexual women. As members of the human race and St. Lucian citizens, LBT women deserve protections from abuse too. This International Women’s Day, we should choose to challenge the notion that only cisgender heterosexual women are subject to domestic violence and do the necessary work to ensure equal protections for all women.

“Our empathy for battered women should not be exclusive to cisgender heterosexual women, as members of the human race and St. Lucian citizens, LBT women deserve protections from abuse too.” 

Dania Abraham: United and Strong Inc – Communications Officer (1758-714-7234)

United and Strong #21andBeyond

UnS Project implementation team setting the stage for 2021 and beyond

One’s 21st birthday is a prestigious milestone, declaring one a new member of adult society. It is often a day rooted in tradition and a day full of celebration surrounding the coming of age. However for an organization, turning 21 is an achievement that goes beyond coming of age or being declared a new member of the adult society according to human tradition.

United and Strong’s incredible growth over the last twenty-one years has pushed it to challenge its operations and reflect on how it can impact more LGBTQ+ persons, especially during this pandemic. To better identify with the community, to properly explain to a St. Lucian society who they are and increase reach especially at the grassroots level.

In keeping with the new normal and revisiting how the organization operates and implements its programs and projects a number of new initiatives have been launched. The establishment of a Project Implementation Team (made-up of volunteers and part-time staff) will oversee a number of projects focusing on the areas of- human rights education, documenting human rights violations, security awareness and practices, gender-based violence within the LGBTQ+ community, along with assessing the impact of COVID-19 on the lives and livelihoods of LGBTQ+ persons in St. Lucia.

This approach comes with strengthened organizational management to continue building upon the collective resources, heightened social and traditional media presence, improved and increased advocacy initiatives along with stronger evidence-based programs.

This new approach took effect as of March 1st, 2021 as United and Strong launched a number of new projects and initiatives forming part of the #21andBeyond theme of the organization for 2021. Partners and funding organizations such as Kaleidoscope Trust, The Commonwealth Equality Network, OutRight Action International, ECADE along with the Caribbean Vulnerable Communities Coalition and the MACAIDS Fund are certainly adding to the new approach of United and Strong Inc in 2021. The various projects such as Protecting LGBT+ Rights in the Commonwealth Project, Hear My Voice and the Shared Incidence Database (SIDS) launched in March form part of the continued efforts of the organization to meet the growing needs of members and we have a society that’s conduc LGBTQ+ persons in St. Lucia and ensure we have a society that’s conducive to the advancement of human rights of LGBTQ+ persons in St. Lucia.

LGBT Murders-Out in the Cold

Unsolved murders of LGBT persons in St. Lucia shows that our system perpetuates impunity on a foundation of anti-human rights laws and distrust of police.

The villainous homosexual has a long and terrible history in St. Lucia. Our colonial masters criminalized same-sex relations and we blindly adopted these laws. Even when such laws are rarely enforced, they are used as justification for discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender persons.

Fast forward 2021, fifteen years later and the harsh realities of an uncaring judicial system is ever present. It underscores the lack of will to bring to justice those who operate with impunity. Sadly, the case of murdered victim V. R. in 2005, would not be the last to be left “out in the cold”. Similar murders occurred in 2006 – G. A., 2007- M. A., 2011- C. W., and 2015- A. A., series of LGBT murders and other hate crimes have all been placed in a cold case folder. Members of the LGBT community have said police frequently react with indifference or hostility when hate crimes are reported.

“Members of the LGBT community have said police frequently react with indifference or hostility when hate crimes are reported”

Jessica St. Rose – United and Strong Inc

Hence, the perception may very be real that our judicial system and the various law enforcement structures, spare very little resource in solving crimes that affect the LGBT community and vulnerable persons. The simple act of having a professional listening ear when a report is made, goes a long way in bringing some level of comfort to the complainant or families of the victims.

United and Strong remains committed to working with the various judicial and law enforcement structures in St. Lucia, to ensure that members of the LGBT community and their love ones, receive justice and are treated as citizens of this country.

END

For further information, please feel free to contact us via our social media platforms or email: uandnitedandstrongslu@yahoo.com

United and Strong’s historic meeting with Opposition Leader – Philip J. Pierre

United and Strong and ECADE Reps meet with Philip J. Pierre

For well over a decade, United and Strong Inc. (UNS) has worked hard to promote an enabling environment for the LGBTQI community here on Saint Lucia. In 2019, the organization plans to increase political engagements through meetings with government and elected officials. UNS intends to hold dialogue with Prime Minister Honourable Allen M. Chastanet, Minister for Gender Relations Honourable Gale T. C Rigobert, Minister for Health Senator the Honourable Mary Isaac and the Leader of the Parliamentary Opposition Honourable Philip J. Pierre.

On Tuesday, February 5th, representatives of United and Strong Inc. and the Eastern Caribbean Alliance for Diversity and Equality (ECADE) sat-down with the Political Leader of the Opposition Saint Lucia Labour Party, Parliamentary Representative for Castries East Honourable Philip J Pierre. Several pertinent issues including the Labour Party’s policy position on the LGBTQI community were discussed during the meeting. Mr Pierre declared that the SLP is an institution built on a foundation that recognizes the fundamental Human Rights of all citizens, including LGBTQI persons.

The Leader of the Opposition stated that his Party has a culture of implementing policies to protect minority groups. He cited section 131 of the Labour Code that prohibits the unfair dismissal of an employee because of sexual Orientation as an example. He also pointed to the introduction of wheelchair accessible pathways in the city of Castries for persons with disabilities during the Labour Party’s previous term in office.

A number of Issues affecting the LGBTQI community were raised at the United Nations’ Universal Periodic Review (UPR) held in Geneva in November 2015 with specific emphasis on discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. At the forum, the Government of Saint Lucia accepted the recommendation to strengthen the fight against discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity through human rights education and anti-discrimination awareness programmes.

However, to date, there has been little to no action on the recommendation. Nevertheless, United and Strong is hoping that dialogue with the Prime Minister and other cabinet officials will clarify the current administration’s stance on the recommendation and address concerns surrounding the discrimination of LGBTQI people.

END.
February 13, 2019

United and Strong Inc Launches “758 Do You Dare” Campaign

The re-imagined concept of the “Truth or Dare” game undertaken by the Caribbean Vulnerable Communities Coalition (CVC) aims to challenge people, governments, key populations (KPs) and civil society organizations to be change agents in reducing/eliminating the impact of HIV and AIDS on our region.

However dealing with the reality of HIV and AIDS and the related issues is more of a “Truth and Dare” as pinpointed by this campaign.

“758 Do You Dare”- United and Strong’s version; has at it’s core objective just as the regional campaign, of utilizing a range of communications strategies to challenge people, government, key populations (KPs) and civil society organizations to be change agents.

Ahead of World AIDS Day 2018 and the commencement of the 16 Days of Activism on the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, United and Strong thought this to be the best platform to launch our #758DoYouDare Campaign.

As highlighted by the Communications and Advocacy Officer Mr. Bennet Charles;

Gender-based violence is a serious violation of human rights and increases the risk of HIV infection. This form of violence is a pervasive reality in Saint Lucia with both women and men from key populations being widely affected.

Women and girls along with men and boys have the right to live free of violence and inequities and to protect themselves against HIV. This is the very intention of the “#758DoYou Dare”.

To achieve the 90-90-90 targets by 2020 in Saint Lucia we have to be daring and we must realise it’s a collaborative effort, and challenge others to take the “Do You Dare Challenge”.

The 758Koudmen Campaign supported under the Regional Capacity Development Initiative of the EU through the Caribbean Policy Development Centre(CPDC) has certainly facilitated strategic partnerships and volunteers to facilitate the aims of the “758 Do You Dare” Campaign.

The first cohort of PSAs launched today, November 25th, highlights three partners taking the challenge. The PSAs feature the Sir Arthur Lewis Community College Peer Counselorsand Redcross students along with the team of the regional Talk Show “The Soup” asking others to support “758 Do You Dare” towards reducing gender-based violence and the stigma and discrimination targeting persons living with HIV and AIDS.

  1. Salcc Peer Educators PSA (HIV/GBV)
  2. Salcc Redcross Group PSA (HIV/GBV)
  3. GBV PSA 1- Alison Isebert
  4. GBV PSA 2 – Ayana Whitehead-Smith
  5. GBV PSA 3 – Heidi Z. St. Helen

Throughout the coming weeks and months leading into 2019, a number of PSAs will focus on other vulnerable populations along with commuity based interventions including meetings with various policy makers and Ministers.

United and Strong believes these dares provides an opportunity to build a conducive environment for not just reaching the 90-90-90 targets, but fostering a a reduction/elimination of various human rights abuses and laws that impede access of vulnerable persons to health care as well as other social services.

United and Strong turns 18

When one attains the age of 18 years old, it is a gateway age that takes them across the border from childhood to adulthood. Similarly, achieving 18 years of age is a milestone for any organisation, particularly one that focuses on the LGBT community- whilst also operating in a constitutionally homophobic society.

For eighteen consecutive years, United and Strong has been the lead human rights organization, echoing the pains, struggles and triumphs of LGBT St. Lucians and of lately other marginalized populations.

Experience over the past years has bestowed upon us a greater understanding of the many struggles experienced by other stigmatized and discriminated groups. The ridiculing of a differently abled person or the dismal of one based on their HIV status are just a few of the many situations that fuels our need to build new relationships and alliances.

This year brought with it, a plethora of differences within the political and governance structures of this nation. Such differences seem to have revived the advocacy spirit of many civil society organization, who seem to have been mute to a number of human rights related issues, from health to education among many more.

According to the Communications and Advocacy Officer of United and Strong Inc;

“Iit is in the direct and immediate interest of Saint Lucia to support the advancement of human rights and freedom of not just LGBT persons but, every citizen of this nation.”

United and Strong will continue to utilize all means in achieving our mission which is to:

“Provide an enabling environment for the advancement of human rights for the LGBTI community in Saint Lucia.”

However, we also recognize the need to strengthen our culture of human rights, we need to rediscover our shared space between advocacy and human rights. Recognising that human rights need to be promoted and taught, we shall continue to explore building strong alliances with diverse advocacy groups built on ground rules for shared understanding.
To move forward we call for greater human rights literacy among our civil society partners and the various political and governance structures.

We are indeed thankful to the LGBTI community and allies who charged the organization with this mission and have placed their faith and trust in the management and Board of Directors to lead. Gratitude to our various national, regional and International partners, who continue to provide both technical and financial support to our cause.

United and Strong shall in the coming weeks, reveal a myriad of plans and campaigns geared towards celebrating this milestone and forging a more accepting society towards the LGBTI community.

Hon. Sarah Flood-Beaubrun’s Anti-LGBT and Hate Agenda

sarah split

1 John 3:15 “Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer; and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him”

The weekend of November 17th – 18th 2017 was the stage for the very homophobic and anti-LGBT group World Congress of Families (WFC).

This fifth World Congress of Families Caribbean Conference, under the misleading theme “The Family Development – Strong Families, Prosperous Nations”, provided a platform for the continued persecution of not just LGBT persons but our Saint Lucian citizens.

Organized by the Hon. Sarah Flood-Beaubrun,  Minister, with responsibility for External Affairs and founder of the Caribbean Centre for Family and Human Rights (CARIFAM).  The Congress brought together the most fringe activists engaged in anti-LGBT extremism and sort to promote messages of “the natural family”, “Marriage” is the cradle of civilization along with other anti-human rights notions.

United and Strong joins a number of regional and international colleagues in denouncing the hateful anti-LGBT campaign of the World Congress of Families (WCF) and Caribbean Centre for Family and Human Rights (CARIFAM).

We were also perplexed by the presence of the Acting Prime Minister Hon. Guy Joseph and Hon. Lenard Montoute at such a gathering which promotes a value of hate.  Even more disturbing to the organization is the view that CARIFAM/WCF seem to have been sub-contracted as the moral compass of our fair Helen.

We therefore call on the Prime Minister of this nation along with the Hon. Lenard Montoute, to answer this question “are the views expressed by the Hon. Sarah Flood-Beaubrun and her hate promoting colleagues, that of the government of Saint Lucia?”  Clearly, the Minister with responsibility for External Affairs has and continues to use her position as a Government Minister to push the hateful agenda of her organization CARIFAM  and WCF.

The Hon. Sarah Flood-Beaubrun seems to have adopted the posture of being “Split in the middle” speaking on behalf of CARIFAM as a seating member of parliament in the government of Saint Lucia and a Cabinet Minister.  Mrs. Flood-Beaubrun needs to decide on, if she is serving the people of this country or her own anti-LGBT interest?

We call on the Hon. Flood-Beaubrun to show how she truly cares about the women and families of this country by:

  • Pushing for the amendments in our Criminal Code that currently recognizes marital rape only under certain circumstances;
  • Speaking out when men of the cloth sexually abuse our young girls and religious bodies remain tight lipped to protect the image of their organizations;
  • Show support to the women who are beaten by their husbands but remain quiet so the “church” would not reprimand them for speaking out;

United and Strong will continue to be the voice of reason and change for the voice-less and the persecuted.  We shall not tire and we shall not go quietly into the night, the walls of hatred built by such organizations like CARIFAM and WCF shall tumble like the walls of Jericho.

ECADE welcomes new IACHR commissioners notes Caribbean States’ reservations on human rights

unnamed(Castries, June 22, 2017) On the heels of the 47th General Assembly of the Organisation of American Sates (OAS), the Eastern Caribbean Alliance for Diversity and Equality Inc. (ECADE) welcomes several positive decisions coming out of the meeting. ECADE notes however, reservations expressed by eastern Caribbean governments in respect of the Resolution on the Protection and Promotion of Human Rights.

The 47th OAS General Assembly 2017 was hosted in Cancun, Mexico from June 19 – 21, 2017. Of note is the adoption of the omnibus Resolution on the Protection and Promotion of Human Rights; the election of three new commissioners to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR); and the decision to double the regular funds assigned to the IACHR and the Inter-American Court of Human Rights and the Inter-American Commission on women.

“There is clearly a recognition among the majority of OAS members of the need to strengthen mechanisms to investigate human rights violations, secure justice for survivors of violence and others facing discrimination and ensure the protection of all peoples of the Caribbean,” says ECADE’s Communications and Advocacy Officer Maria Fontenelle, who represented the organisation at the OAS Assembly. “From conflicts in Venezuela and Brazil to human rights violations of marginalised groups in Barbados and Dominica, the IACHR has its work cut out for it.”

The new Commissioners elected to the IACHR are Joel Hernández García of México, Flávia Cristina Piovesan of Brazil and Antonia Urrejola Noguera of Chile. ECADE’s member organisations will seek to engage the IACHR to bring attention in the region to the discrimination against citizens based on sexual orientation, gender identity and intersex characteristics. This was notably addressed in the 2015 IACHR regional report on violence against lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) persons or those perceived as LGBTI. The report, notes the IACHR, recognises “there are still high rates of violence in all countries of the region…this violence tends to be extremely brutal and cruel.

Moreover, the everyday violence that affects LGBTI persons is often invisible, as it is not reported to the authorities or covered by the media.” In light of this, ECADE, and the LGBTTTI Coalition at the OAS, is pleased with the adoption of the Resolution on the Protection and Promotion of Human Rights but concerned about reservations by countries that include the Eastern Caribbean nations of Dominica, Saint Lucia and Barbados. While it includes important provisions that strengthen the protection of the rights of all people, our governments missed the opportunity to firmly position themselves as leaders on human rights.

ECADE calls on member states to clarify conflicting messages used to deny the protection of all citizens. The claim that it is impossible to commit to the Resolution as many of the terms used are not defined under international agreements and resolutions is in direct conflict to the stated decision to reserve the right to define discrimination according to our culture and our values.

We remind Caribbean governments of the commitments enshrined in all our constitutions that reaffirms equality of all persons, prohibits discrimination and recognises and protects the full human rights of all citizens. These are the stated values of our people that our governments are bound to fulfill for citizens at home. We further note that culture is not static or homogeneous. The OAS is united in the conviction that the human rights of all persons are universal and indivisible. We remind Caribbean governments that they have voluntarily committed to this as well as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which states;

“All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights” and “All are equal before the law and are entitled, without any discrimination, to equal protection of the law”.

Having noted that governments are commitment to protect the rights of children as stated in the United Nations Convention on the rights of the Child, we remind that the child should be fully prepared to live an individual life in society, and brought up in the spirit of the ideals proclaimed in the Charter of the United Nations; particularly in the spirit of peace, dignity, tolerance, freedom, equality and solidarity. This includes protection from bullying; the right to education free from discrimination based on real or perceived sexual orientation and gender identity and free of teachings of hatred and intolerance.

As Caribbean States seek to ensure protection for all families, we join in encouraging the necessary protection and assistance to allow all families to fulfill their responsibilities within the community. We note that this includes the families of LGBTQI people, which are often ripped apart by societal stigma fueled by criminalisation.  We agree that “no person should be subject to violence, attack or persecution for any reason” and remind our governments that when they fail to fully commit to the protection and promotion of human rights of all citizens, the consequence is violence and persecution.

ECADE recognises the countries that, through their unreserved support of the resolution, ensure the OAS honours its own values. We welcome the contribution of the government of Canada of almost $2 million to combating discrimination and violence against women and girls in Latin America and the Caribbean.  ECADE members commit to continuing to work with the Equal Rights Coalition, a new inter-governmental forum committed to promoting and protecting LGBTI rights, as well as the LGBTI Core Group.

— END —

Click the links below for more information on representation at 47th OAS General Assembly

  1. Declaration of the Coalition LGBTTTI: Human Rights, Democracy and the Rule of Law
  2. Coalition on Sexual and Reproductive Rights
  3. List of Chiefs of Delegation to the 47 General Assembly in Mexico
  4. 2017 OAS General Assembly. Third Plenary Session and Closing Session

The Eastern Caribbean Alliance for Diversity and Equality Inc. (ECADE) is a network of organisations working across the eastern Caribbean. ECADE works to increase the competence of activists and increase knowledge and awareness of the people of the eastern Caribbean for the advancement of LGBTQI and marginalised populations in
the region. Learn more at www.ecequality.org or email info@ecequality.org.

United and Strong’s Human Rights conversation with Hon. Sarah Flood Beaubrun.

United and Strong delegate meets with Minister Sarah Flood Beaubrun
United and Strong Inc’s Communications and Advocacy Officer – Bennet Charles; Minister with responsibility for External Affairs – Hon. Sarah Flood Beaubrun; United and Strong Inc Board Secretary- Jessica St. Rose and Permanent Secretary Dr. Alison Gajadhar

On the heels of the 47th regular session of the General Assembly of the Organization of American States (OAS) taking place on June 19-21 in the city of Cancun, Quintana Roo, Mexico, United and Strong’s request to meet with Hon. Sarah Flood Beaubrun was accepted.  The meeting sort to provide the Minister with information on the work of United and Strong Inc, discrimination issues faced my LGBT persons and the government’s position on recommendations made at the 2011 and 2015 UPR cycles.

Hon. Sarah Flood Beaubrun, Minister with responsibility for External Affairs and accompanied by Permanent Secretary Dr. Alison Gadjahdar, hosted the United and Strong’s delegation of the Communications and Advocacy Officer – Bennet Charles and Board Secretary Jessica St. Rose.

United and Strong provided the Hon. Sarah Flood Beaubrun and her team with our Annual Summary 2016 and a briefing on current projects in 2017.  Both parties agreed  on the unacceptable nature of discrimination targeting women and members of the LGBT community. Conversation related to recommendations made in the 1st and 2nd Cycles of St. Lucia’s Universal Periodic Review saw both parties agreeing to have followup meetings to discuss these recommendations. The Minister and her staff made a commitment to extend an invitation to United and Strong Inc to be part of a national UPR consultation.

The various atrocities experienced by key populations in St. Lucia clearly highlighted the need for advocacy.  There was consensus that major changes in the attitudes of certain sectors of society needs to happen, however the  question still remains, whether such advocacy should be the role of the Government, or whether it should be carried out by organisations like United and Strong Inc?

United and Strong Inc will look to continue it’s consultative process and curtosy visits to other key Ministers within this new administration. We remain adamant in our call to have government state a clear position on the LGBT community, while at the same time recognizing our work and it’s positive impact.

We have FAILED our women and girls

Presentation1United and Strong Inc got the opportunity to view a recent “pornographic video” circulating social media, featuring some level of sexual abuse of a young lady.

While some may seem to have dubbed this a form of “pornography’ we prefer to refer to it as the humiliation, torture and abuse of a young woman.  We are not too concerned with whether this was a recent or past situation but more so the continued objectification, sexual harassment and abuse experienced by our women and girls in Saint Lucia.  Such treatment appears to be part of the fabric of a young woman’s life and seems to be an accepted norm.

Too often such behaviors are described as “normal stuff” that “men do” while at the same time fostering in our women a culture of tolerating what “just happens” and where they are criticized for not successfully maneuvering men’s aggressive sexual behavior.  We somehow accepted a behavior where women play into the myth that “men will be men” and that men are unable to contain their sexual desires the way women do.

As men, we must accept the reality that we have failed and continue to fail our women, our daughters and our mothers.  We have bought into the belief that such behavior is what makes us “men”.  Even crazier is the apparent reality that women themselves are not being each other’s keeper.  Too often victims are belittled by their peers, holding them responsible for their victimization.

What is most disheartening to United and Strong Inc is the fact women in our upper echelons of government are doing very little to curb the impact of such crimes on their fellow women.  We have seen the many comments of being “empathetic” to women during times of crisis or when it’s politically appropriate.

If indeed our elected female Members of Parliament and female Ministers are “empathetic” towards their fellow women then:

  • Why remain muted when a cabinet colleague was involved in an alleged sexual misconduct?

  •  Why make comments that the best place for a new born baby was at a make-shift nursery at the Bordelais Correctional Facility?

  •  Why is that Victoria Hospital can’t have a separate examination room for victims of sexual violence?

  •  Why is it so difficult to have a full-time Social worker/Counselor stationed at the Office of the Vulnerable Persons Unit (VPT)?

United and Strong challenges the female Parliamentarians and Ministers to reflect a difference in how they engage the electorate and not become tangled in the “boy clubs” persona of our political parties.  We urge you to cast aside your political colors and initiate realistic activities that would lend to the safety and security of women within your communities.

We further challenge you to be bold and recognize the work United and Strong has been and continues to do with not just LGBT persons but women.  We open our doors to you, so you can engage the many recipients of our Red Light Project and other initiatives.

As a civil society organisation, we are committed to creating a future free from sexual violence and believe every individual has a role to play in this vision. All forms of bias, prejudice and oppression obstruct the mission of ending sexual violence.  We look forward to your willingness in partnering with United and Strong Inc and creating a conducive environment for national growth and development.