The protection and promotion of the rights of women and girls throughout St. Vincent and the Grenadines should be a priority.

This is according to a statement issued by coordinator of Gender Affairs Division – within the Ministry of National Mobilization and Social Development, LaFleur Quammie.

During a release, Quammie said the Ministry Mobilization is collaborating with the Ministry of Health and other line agencies – with support from UN agencies – to ensure that they do not reproduce or perpetuate harmful gender norms, discriminatory practices and inequalities, during the spread of Covid-19.

Quammie said the division is cognizant – that the COVID-19 pandemic can compound existing gender inequalities, and increase risks of Gender-Based Violence, therefore, the protection and promotion of the rights of women and girls should be prioritized.

She pointed out that pregnant women with respiratory illnesses must be treated with utmost priority due to increased risk of adverse outcomes, provision of mental health and psychosocial support for affected individuals, families, communities and health workers is a critical part of the response.

The department’s coordinator also stated that ll health workers, including women, responding to COVID-19 must have personal protective equipment (PPE), given women’s front-line interaction with communities and their participation in much of the care work, they face a higher risk of exposure.

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