Dominica is currently examining the relationship between Gender-based violence and HIV/AIDS.
The Peace Corps, with funding from the Presidents Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), conducted a two-day workshop on Gender-based Violence and HIV/AIDS here.
Dominica has been selected as the host country of the workshop which ended on Thursday and was hosted by the Peace Corps of the Eastern Caribbean.
Minister for Gender Affairs Gloria Shillingford told the start of the workshop that the issue must be addressed nationally and at all levels.
“The connection between gender based violence and HIV has taken on great significance in recent years. Data from the World Health Organization indicates that violence increases the risk of HIV and other infections by 50 percent,” she explained.
According to Shillingford, important in every country is a nation response to HIV/AIDS which will include policies and legislation to protect vulnerable groups from violence.
“In Dominica the tendency is to associate gender violence with women. Let me point out that anyone, woman, man, boy or girl can face violence and so policies should be designed for the protection of all,” she explained.
However, in light of prevailing statistics on gender-based violence, a case has to be made specifically for women and girls, she noted.
The workshop was held under the theme “Changing Youth Norms on Violence”.