Organized jointly by the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) Subregional Headquarters for the Caribbean and Grassroots Organisations Operating Together in Sisterhood in Trinidad and Tobago (GROOTS T&T), with collaboration from the TOCO Foundation, the seminar entitled “Breaking the silence on violence against rural women and girls” was held in Guayaguayare, Trinidad and Tobago on 25 November.
Violence against women and girls is a manifestation of historically unequal power relations between men and women, which have led to domination over and discrimination against women by men/partners and to the prevention of their full advancement and enjoyment of all human rights throughout their lives.
According to UN Women, 35% of women and girls globally experience some form of physical or sexual violence in their lifetime, including from intimate partners. At the regional level, the most recent data provided by the Gender Equality Observatory of ECLAC shows that of the eight countries for which figures are available, the highest rate was recorded in Suriname (2.6 per 100,000 women), which is the only country with data on both intimate and non-intimate femicide. Despite efforts made, it is hoped that Caribbean countries can improve their administrative records of violence against women and provide disaggregated data on this phenomenon and its characteristics in the short term.
The Guayaguayare event provided the opportunity for ECLAC Caribbean and other members of the United Nations system in Trinidad and Tobago to listen to the concerns of rural women and girls on the challenges they face in fully exercising and enjoying the full spectrum of their human rights. The seminar presented different aspects of domestic violence against women and girls, as well as other forms of violence against them, and featured presentations from various stakeholders at the United Nations, Government, community and local levels.
The International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women recalls the assassination of the three Mirabal sisters, political activists in the Dominican Republic, on orders of the Dominican ruler Rafael Trujillo. Since 1999, it has been recognised as a United Nations Day.
 Barbados, Dominica, Grenada, Jamaica, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, and Trinidad and Tobago, cited in ECLAC, “Equality and women’s autonomy in the sustainable development agenda”, p. 106-107. ://repositorio.cepal.org/bitstream/handle/11362/40675/1/S1600898_en.pdf
 ECLAC, “Equality and women’s autonomy in the sustainable development agenda”, p. 106-107. ://repositorio.cepal.org/bitstream/handle/11362/40675/1/S1600898_en.pdf