Collective effort

Collective effort

Incidents of violence against women rising by 21% in St. Martin last year (see Monday paper) was rightfully called reason for concern. That more than 500 cases were recorded in 2021 on such a relatively small territory further indicates how serious the problem has become.

And things are not much different on the Dutch side, according to recent reports from the St. Maarten Police Force KPSM. As pointed out, this year’s theme for International Day for the Elimination of Violence “Men speaking to men” was well chosen, because that is often where it begins.

They say youngsters are socially formed less by what they are told than what they see, hear and experience around them. If their male examples and role models show less respect for females, there is a good chance they will adopt a similar attitude.

Organisations like “Association Laique pour L’Educacion, la Formation, la Prevention et L’Autonoue” and homeless shelter “Le Manteau Audrey Gil” do what they can. The same can be said south of the border for Safe Haven, Peridot Foundation, the Court of Guardianship and others.

However, children need to learn about gender equality early, starting at home and in school, church, sports clubs, etcetera. That does not mean they should be treated exactly alike, as boys and girls have different physical characteristics, interests and even natural skills.

For example, one does not necessarily have to make both sons and daughters do the exact same chores, but there should be some kind of balance where the work is fairly divided. The main thing is to teach respect not just for parents but also siblings and everybody else.

This is not something any individual entity can achieve. It requires a collective effort.

The Daily Herald

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