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16 Days Of Activism
25th November-10th December
Draft Message by the Minister for Health and Social Development, Mrs Marie-Pierre Lloyd
‘COMMIT, ACT, DEMAND: We can end violence against women’

Once again this year, we join the international community in raising awareness and committing ourselves to end violence against women. This year’s international theme is a call for greater commitment and action so that together we can bring an end to this scourge that continues to affect millions around the world.

Here in Seychelles, we have made some progress in addressing the challenges of violence against women. Today, thanks to research that has been undertaken we better understand the complexities that many women face. We have also formulated and are currently implementing the National Strategy against domestic violence. Whilst these are small steps they should also serve as stepping stones towards greater action. Our Government is committed in ensuring that the rights of women are respected and realised. We have set up the necessary frameworks in Seychelles to ensure the protection and equal treatment of all our citizens. But let me say again today that Government alone cannot legislate away the problem of violence against women.

I therefore take the opportunity on this year’s occasion to call on all Seychellois to join our efforts in ending violence against women. This violation against the dignity of our fellow human beings must come to end. We are living in challenging times and we all need to pull together to ensure the continued development of our families and country. We all need to realise that women are not asking for any special rights, privileges or treatment. It is time for all of us to accept that women are human beings with the same rights as men and deserving of the same respect and dignity. We can have all the laws and strategies but unless there is a change of mindset from each one of us, our efforts will be in vain.

That is why it is important for everyone to know and value their rights as human beings. Each child, each man and each woman must learn to respect the rights of their fellow human beings.

I would like to conclude by calling on all Seychellois to reflect on President’s Michel call ‘Koste Seselwa.’ It is our men, women, boys and girls who make up the Seychellois nation. So let us during this year’s 16 Days of Activism, show our concern and commitment to make our families and country free from the scourge of violence.

Gender Secretariat, 03.12.09