Barbadian Women Still Facing Too Many Challenges

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Minister of Family, Culture, Sports and Youth, Stephen Lashley??

Although some Barbadian women have made great strides and have achieved in several areas, too many of them are still facing severe challenges.

This view was expressed by Minister of Family, Culture, Sports and Youth, Stephen Lashley, in a message to mark International Women’s Day, which is being??being commemorated across the globe today, Thursday, March 8.

Mr. Lashley said: "It remains a cause for concern that the recently published results of the Country Assessment of Living Conditions survey indicates that the majority of poor households in Barbados are headed by females who are in low paying jobs or unemployed and these households tend to be large or overcrowded."

According to him, the Survey showed that within the family, women and girls were much more likely to be exposed to abuse and violence. "They also carry the greater burden of family care and support, particularly in relation to children, the elderly and family members with disabilities. Added to this, is the still worrying problem of HIV and AIDS and its impact on young women," he lamented.

However, he reassured the country that Government "remains committed" to assisting all women who face these and other challenges. "We are determined to empower our women to successfully tackle these issues through various programmes of intervention.

"… My Ministry, through its various programmes, intends to continue to build family values and the skills of our youth … since these young men and women are the ones who make up the families of tomorrow.??We will continue to work to develop policies which advance true gender equity and equality and to correct legislation which inhibits progress in this regard," he promised.

Mr. Lashley said an avenue must be provided to allow mature women to connect with and share the road to success with younger women, adding that this would ensure a brighter future for men and women. "Inspired women not only place emphasis on educating their girls, but they ensure that their boys also reach an acceptable standard of education so that they can function effectively within society," he suggested.

The Minister lauded Barbadian women for their advancement in the various spheres, saying many of them worked in areas which constituted the very foundation of our society, yet they remained "our unsung heroes".??

The theme of this year’s International Women’s Day celebrations is Connecting Girls, Inspiring Futures and the economic, social, cultural and political achievements of women will be celebrated.

sharon.austingill-moore@barbados.gov.bb

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