Photo: Shirley Pryce delivers her acceptance speech during the official opening of the 38th meeting of CARICOM Heads of Government.


CARICOM Triennial awardee calls for support to reduce ‘scourge of violence against women and girls’


            Georgetown, Guyana – Shirley Pryce received the 12th CARICOM Triennial Award for Women during the official opening of the 38th Conference of Heads of Government of the Caribbean Community July 4 in St. George’s Grenada.

In her acceptance speech, she called on governments, political and other leaders for their support in ending the “scourge of violence against women and girls.”

“I am extremely passionate about reducing the scourge of violence against women and girls, which has reached unprecedented level in the region and the world…. we need your support to bring this blight on our societies to an end,” she said.

Challenging them to “be bold for change,” she called for “stronger laws to protect the vulnerable and to bring the perpetrators to justice. We need to speak out whenever the opportunity presents itself.” she advised.

Worldwide, violence remains one of the most fundamental obstacles to the achievement of women’s full human rights. WHO estimates (2013) indicate that 35 per cent of women in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) region have experienced intimate partner violence or nonpartner sexual violence in their lifetime.

As expected, the veteran global advocate who believes “in making a difference in all issues affecting the human rights of women across the globe” emphasised that much more needs to be done for the rights of domestic workers. She shared that while there are more than 100 million domestic workers worldwide, they do not all enjoy the benefits that workers in other sectors do, such as maternity leave, sick leave, health insurance and leave with pay. And while there have been some improvements, including steps to introduce legislation, a lot more needs to be done, particularly as it relates to enforcement.

Pryce has been described as an “exceptional leader and advocate, champion of domestic workers’ rights, dedicated social worker and distinguished daughter of the Caribbean.”

According to her citation, she is dubbed across Europe as “Jamaica’s hard-talking no-nonsense advocate” as a result of her role in the development of the landmark 2011 ILO Domestic Workers Convention (No. 189). Pryce “was one of the [people] influential in getting the Convention on the ILO Agenda and together with women’s organisations from across the globe, lobbied 183 countries for decent work for domestic workers,” her citation states.