National Consultation For Civil Society On April 16

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Several representatives of local civil society organisations and non-state actors will gather in the auditorium of the Barbados Workers’ Union at Solidarity House within a few days for a national consultation dealing with issues of gender, governance, finance and trade.

This meeting, to be held on Friday, April 16, from 8:30 a.m., is a precursor to the upcoming 9th Commonwealth Women’s Affairs Ministers Meeting (WAMM). The theme of that important forum is "Gender Issues in Economic Crisis, Recovery and Beyond: Women as Agents of Transformation".

Representation at the April 16 session is also expected from non-governmental organisations, trade unions, private sector organisations, the youth, the disabled community and men’s groups. Those persons or groups who are interested in participating in the discussions should call the President of NOW, Yvonne Walkes, by Monday, April 12, at 426-3492.

The conference is being hosted by the National Organisation of Women (NOW), in collaboration with the Commonwealth Foundation.

Ms. Walkes explained that it would look at how the various organisations were operating during the current economic crisis and examine strategies that would assist them in setting new targets for the future. "We want the participants to share their experiences and suggest creative ways to recover from this recession. We are also hoping that we will be able to forge partnerships to assist in moving the organisations forward," she stated.

The NOW President disclosed that academics from the University of the West Indies had been invited to give an in-depth analysis of what the organisations had and what was needed to propel them.

The findings of the consultation will be fed into the Commonwealth Foundation for the upcoming Partners’ Forum, to be held a few days before the 9th WAMM meeting.

saustin@barbados.gov.bb

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