International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women
Step It Up to End Violence From Policy to Action
Date: Thursday, November 26, 2015
25 November 2015, Bridgetown, Barbados: The medium of film is a powerful way of taking us inside other people’s lives, forging an emotional bond between us and those on the screen, and we virtually try to direct an ending where the characters come out the winners.
In that same vein, the Step It Up to End Violence Against Women and Girls Film Festival seeks to move us from Policy to Action. In order to encourage the general public to Step it Up to End Violence against Women and Girls, UN Women, in coordination with a number of UN Agencies, PSI, and the IGDS: Nita Barrow Unit of the UWI Cave Hill Campus last evening launched, a multi-country film festival to showcase films that address the issues of all levels of violence against women and girls in our society.
These films demonstrate the real, often tragic and sometimes triumphant, experiences of women and girls who are survivors of gender based violence. Not to be dismissed “as only a movie” nor to exploit a shock value, but rather the films advocate the truth of this issue, aiming to encourage self-reflection and motivate us to action, to address what is a Caribbean and global problem and the most appalling violation of human rights.
UN Women’s global campaign, "Planet 50-50 by 2030: Step It Up for Gender Equality" (Step It Up) asks governments to make national commitments to address the challenges that are holding women and girls back from reaching their full potential. A critical and debilitating stumbling block is violence against women and girls. On average, one in three women in the Caribbean will experience domestic/intimate partner violence in their lifetime. Available national studies suggest that between 20-69% of women in intimate relationships have experienced violence and that 47.6% of girls and 31.9% of boys have reported that their first intercourse was forced or coerced by family members or family acquaintances.
The Film Festival includes films that explore the relationship between violence and how women and men are shaped by social conventions and expectations, and how different members of society experience violence differently, because of their gender, orientation or beliefs. Among the films included in the festival is one that will demonstrate how art and film has made a positive difference among at-risk girls in Trinidad and Tobago through ArtConnect. The films also explore the themes of “The Role of Boys and Men in Ending Gender-based Violence”; “Violence against Women and Girls and Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights”; “Violence Against Marginalised Groups including the disabled and LGBTiQ communities” and “Community responses through culture and sports to end violence against women and girls”.
The films run on selected nights until the end of the 16 Days period – 10 December 2015 – World Human Rights day at the Errol Barrow Centre for Creative Imagination UWI, Cave Hill Campus at 7 pm.
 National studies from Antigua and Barbuda, Guyana, British Virgin Islands and Suriname.
 Report No. 37820, Crime, Violence, and Development: Trends, Costs, and Policy Options in the Caribbean, March 2007 - A Joint Report by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime and the Latin America and the Caribbean Region of the World Bank