CEDAW Report Addresses Gender Equality

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Barbados will soon deliver a report on the Convention for the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW). The report will offer insight into the state of gender equality on the island.

This was disclosed yesterday by Director of the Bureau of Gender Affairs, Patricia Hackett-Codrington, as she addressed the closing ceremony of a three-day Training of Gender Advocates: Meeting the Data Deficit workshop at the 3Ws Oval, University of the West Indies.
Mrs. Hackett-Codrington told participants, who included stakeholders from the Ministries of Labour and Education, that lack of data made it difficult to determine the progress made regarding gender equality and challenges faced.

Stressing that accurate information needed to be collected and that structure should be given to this process, she said: ???We need to let our partners know what [information] we need for them to collect so that we can make a meaningful report on what is happening in Barbados.???

The Director explained that the report ??? the first to be delivered in nearly a decade – would address 16 of the 30 articles found in the CEDAW, and focus on equal rights in education, health care, women???s participation in political and public life, as well as health care and family planning.

UN Women Representative (Caribbean), Christine Arab, noted that the report, which will be presented to Government in two weeks, highlighted the fact that Barbados was serious about addressing gender-based concerns.?????The convention itself is special. It says that equality in law isn???t enough???The CEDAW says that men and women experience those laws differently. And if they???re to benefit from those laws equally, certain measures have to be in place,??? she stressed.

Ms. Arab observed that other countries in the region faced similar challenges where reporting was concerned, and lamented the data deficiency.While the CEDAW addresses a range of issues, the UN Women Representative said that gender based violence continued to be a major concern.

???The level of gender based violence, domestic violence, intimate partner violence???is unacceptably high. It???s not specific to Barbados, it???s a global phenomena unfortunately. The Caribbean has [very] high statistics when it comes to sexual abuse and physical abuse of women and girls,??? she said, adding that dialogue on such issues had to be led by those affected, in order for change to occur.

The report on the CEDAW will be available for public discussion on Thursday, March 6, at 7:30 p.m. at the Queen???s Park Steel Shed.

nekaelia.hutchinson@barbados.gov.bb

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