Step it Up Film Festival Launched to End Violence against Women and Girls

Nov 20, 2015

The Caribbean has made significant material gains towards gender equality and women’s empowerment but many systemic and ideological challenges fueled by negative gender stereotypes remain.

A critical and debilitating stumbling block which is holding women and girls back from reaching their full potential is violence against them. 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.

In order to encourage the general public to Step it Up to End Violence against Women and Girls, UN offices in the region - UN Women, UNFPA, UNIC, UNICEF and UNDP - are partnering with Population Services International-Caribbean (PSI-C), and the YWCA to host a multi-country film festival to showcase films that address the issues of all levels of violence against women and children in our society, and would propel us to move from Policy to Action.

Activism, mobilisation and the power of partnerships, will define the Film Festival that will take place from 25 November to 10 December 2015 in Barbados and Trinidad and Tobago with submissions being invited from across the region.

•    #HeForShe: The Role of Men and Boys in Ending Violence against Women and Girls;
•    Violence against Marginalised Groups;
•    Violence against Women and Girls and Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights;
•    Youth and Violence;
•    Representations of Women and Girls in the Media;
•    Gender Based Violence and Citizen Security;
•    Women’s Access to Justice and Rule of Law; and
•    Community responses through culture and sports to end violence against women and girls.

Caribbean films and films from the Global South will be given priority. Where possible the film directors will be invited to speak after their film with the audience about the subject matter. Panel discussions and dialogues will follow most of the film screenings on the subject matter with question and answer sessions.

The film festival will target vibrant mixed audiences through the medium of film, so that the participants and patrons of the festival can become engaged as Step It Up ambassadors.

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