The Division of Gender and Family Affairs has three main functions:
- National Machinery for Gender Equality and the Advancement of Women in Grenada
- Coordinating the National Parenting Programme
- Coordinating Mechanism to combat gender-based violence and child abuse
The Division has three units:
The roles of the gender equality machinery can be summarised as:
- Gender policy and mainstreaming
- Targeted measures for gender equality and empowerment of women and girls
- Accountability for gender equality and empowerment of women
GENDER POLICY AND MAINSTREAMING
The Division led the development of the National Gender Equality Policy and Action Plan (GEPAP) which was approved by Government in 2014 and is being implemented. The overarching approach that was adopted is gender mainstreaming. This has two main components:
- Integrating gender concerns/issues and analysis into existing development priorities;
- Agenda-setting which aims to transform the existing development agenda.
Therefore, part of the main work of the Division is to assist other Government Ministries, Departments and Statutory Bodies in mainstreaming gender equality and empowerment of women and girls. It also supports mainstreaming efforts by civil society, defined broadly as the sectors outside of government such as the non-governmental organisations, community based organisations, private sector, labour unions and the Religious Community.
Each Ministry and selected Government Departments and Statutory Bodies have Gender Focal Points, who together, for the Inter-Ministerial Council for Gender Focal Points.
TARGETED MEASURES FOR GENDER EQUALITY AND THE EMPOWERMENT OF WOMEN AND GIRLS
The measures being undertaken are guided by the GEPAP. Some of the core issues being addressed include violence against women (mainly intimate partner violence and sexual violence), poverty and economic empowerment of women, and creating a culture that practices gender equality at the individual, family, community and institutional levels. The priority interventions are:
- Eradicating Gender-based Violence
- Empowering Women and Girls
- Engaging Women and Men for Gender Equality
ACCOUNTABILITY FOR GENDER EQUALITY
Facilitating Grenada’s accountability under the regional and international treaties and agreements for gender quality and the empowerment of women and girls includes:
- Gender analysis of national statistical data, mainly the gender equality indicators
- Examining context, such as the culture, lifestyles, beliefs, etc
- Reporting on gender equality and the empowerment of women
- Gender equality training and sensitisation
- Advocating for gender equality and women’s empowerment
The National Parenting Programme is an educational programme for parents, guardians and caregivers to prevent dysfunction and social problems within families. It also has a function in early intervention and response to problems in the family. Parenting education is recognized locally and regionally as a pillar for stability in the State. The Unit offers training cycles and one-off parenting education sessions as a strategy to:
- Improve the quality of parenting throughout the State, thereby strengthening families as the foundation of the society.
- Assist in reducing conflict between parents, such as due to child maintenance and separation.
- Prevent domestic violence and child abuse.
- Reduce the incidence of adolescent pregnancy.
- Improve the parenting skills of mothers, fathers and guardians who are referred by the Court, other service providers and other Units of the Ministry.
The programme uses the Parenting Partners guide and has added a module on Human Sexuality in response to one of society’s demands.
The Government of Grenada expressed a policy to "Strengthen legislation, enforcement and other interventions to combat domestic violence and child abuse".
This mandate was added as a responsibility of the DGFA following the comprehensive report submitted by a Technical Working Group which was established in 2018. It is intended that services of the following State entities would be coordinated, resulting in more comprehensive support to individuals and their families:
- The Ministry of Social Development, in particular the Gender-based Violence Unit in the Division of Gender and Family Affairs.
- The Royal Grenada Police Force, in particular the Special Victims Unit.
- The Ministry of Health, in particular the three (3) hospitals and Sauteurs Health Centre.
- Child Protection Authority, with the mandate to address all forms of violence against children.
Non-governmental organisations that provide services to prevent and respond to these forms of violence would also be engaged in the process.
The stated aim is to "Develop a mechanism that will provide effective, efficient, client-centred services to support and protect victims of these forms of violence, hold offenders accountable, prevent Gender-based Violence and Child Abuse, and be responsible for national data collection and reporting on these forms of violence."
The Division has three Units which provide the following services
- Organise and conduct parenting training for specific groups, such as pregnant and lactating mothers, parents referred by the Court and partnering agencies, beneficiaries of various Government programmes such as SEED, parents and guardians of children attending school, and members of faith-based and community-based organisations and mothers and fathers in general.
- Provide continuous education and sensitisation of parents, through media presentations and campaigns.
- Coordinate events to commemorate International Family Day (May 15)
Gender-based Violence Unit
- Provide psycho-social support to adult victims and survivors of intimate partner violence and sexual abuse, whether female or male
- Engage women and men, and girls and boys in activities to prevent and respond to gender-based violence (GBV)
- Advocate for further State and non-State action to end all forms of GBV
- Coordinate events to commemorate 16 Days of Activism to end Violence against Women (November 25 to December 10)
Gender Equality Unit
- Implement the Gender Equality Policy and Action Plan (GEPAP).
- Plan and implement targeted activities and engage men and women for gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls.
- Provide technical support to mainstream gender equality into policies and programmes throughout Government to make them more gender-responsive and advance gender equality and the advancement of women and girls, in keeping with the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and other international instruments.
- Monitor the status of women and men in Grenada to identify progress made and barriers to gender equality and to develop strategies and solutions to gender inequality and the empowerment of women and girls at all levels of the society.
- Coordinate events to commemorate International Women’s Day (March 8) and International Men’s Day (November 19).