Barbadians will join the international movement Walk A Mile In Her Shoes, when the event of the same name takes place tomorrow, December 8, in Bridgetown, beginning at 4 p.m.
Men and women will don high-heel shoes during the walk to take a stand against gender-based violence. Organised by the Young Women’s Christian Association, in collaboration with the Bureau of Gender Affairs, the event will begin at the General Post Office, Cheapside, The City, travel through Broad Street and climax at Independence Square.
Part of the bureau’s activities to observe the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence — November 25 to December 10 — Walk A Mile In Her Shoes is an opportunity for persons to raise awareness in their communities about the serious causes and effects of, as well as remediations, to gender violence.
Participants are asked to literally walk one mile in women’s stiletto shoes. The aim is to get people talking about the difficult topics of gender relations and sexual violence.
The hope is that men will better understand and appreciate women’s experiences, thus changing perspectives, helping to improve gender relationships and decreasing the potential for violence. Those men who participate demonstrate that they are willing to partner with women in making the world a safer place and be part of the solution to ending gender violence. Such violence does not only affect women, but by extension, their families, friends, co-workers, and communities.
Damara Smith, one of the organisers of the local event and Second Vice President of the YWCA, explained that while they were not getting the complement of men they expected, an encouraging number of them were still signing up for the event. She encouraged both men and women to come out in high heels on Saturday, to take a stand against gender violence.
“We want to raise the awareness for gender-based violence because it can [affect] both men and women. Everyone is impacted by the situation. The reason why we want the men to come out is because in Trinidad and Tobago and the United States, the event is really geared towards the men but we just tweaked it so that both genders can come out and participate. In the Caribbean, especially, we know that a certain stigma would be attached to men in female shoes but we are not looking at that, we are looking at ending domestic violence. We just want to raise the awareness concerning this pandemic,” she emphasised.
Persons who still have not registered for the walk should do so by contacting email: [email protected] or should call the YWCA at 425-7308. Those who register will get a T-shirt for the event.