Blackstone-Vice Minister hold talks on Gender-Based Violence

Blackstone-Vice Minister hold talks on Gender-Based Violence

Activist women and men together with the students realize March of Peace to ask for the rights of women and girls, on november25, 2020. Image Tatoli/António Gonçalves

DILI, 18 june 2021 (TATOLI) – The Ambassador of the United States to Timor-Leste, Kevin Blackstone today met with the Vice-Prime Minister, Armanda Berta dos Santos to discuss Gender-Based Violence in Timor-Leste.

“Today, i came here to have a meeting with her Excellency the Vice-Prime Minister and Minister of Social Solidarity and Inclusion (MSSI), to discuss several areas of collaboration between the United States and MSSI,” Blackstone made the comments after meeting the Minister of Social Solidarity and Inclusion at MSSI office, in Dili, today.

“The Vice-Prime Minister briefed me on some of the programs and support provided to the Timorese people by MSSI and i explained to her again some of the programs run by USAID especially in the areas countering Gender-Based Violence.”

He said currently the US had two ongoing programs in several municipalities to work with local officials to raise awareness about the problems of Gender-Based Violence: “For example, one is called ‘Harmonia’ and the other is ‘Healthy Relationships for a Violent Free Future.”

Blackstone emphasized that all of the US Government’s assistance in Timor-Leste was offered in coordination and aligned with the priorities of the Timorese Government.

“Since the Vice Prime Minister covers Social Solidarity and inclusion, i used this opportunity during the month of june to discuss support for those who are discriminated against because of sexual orientation or sexual identity,” said Blackstone.

Blackstone added at the end of june, he would convene a meeting with the government’s officials and some from Civil Society who were working to raise awareness and hopefully eliminate discriminations against the LGBT community in Timor-Leste.

During the meeting, Blackstone also explained that in the US, the LGBT community also experienced discrimination against them, saying efforts have been made to combat such discrimination.

Gender equality has been consecrated in the Republic of Democratic of Timor-Leste’s constitution especially in article 17.

Journalist: Filomeno Martins

Editor: Rafy Belo


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