Minister of Youth, Family and Sports, Dr. Esther Byer Suckoo (right), in conversation with (from right) the Advisor on Poverty Eradication and the Millennium Development Goals, Undene Whittaker; Workshop Participant, Dawnisha Best; and Personal Assistant, Alicia Deane.
Poverty has been described by this island’s Advisor on Poverty Eradication and the Millennium Development Goals, Undene Whittaker, as the plank and stepping stone to many of the social ills which are being experienced in today’s society.
Ms. Whittaker further expressed the view that poverty was the cause of many dysfunctional homes and communities.
She made the comments today while addressing the opening ceremony of the Job Skills and HIV/AIDS Workshop at The Valley Resource Centre, St. George, for 30 unemployed Barbadians.
During her address, she praised the Acting Director of the Bureau of Gender Affairs, Patricia Hackett-Codrington, for recent remarks she made where she asked employers not to make female employees redundant since many of them were heads of their households.
“We are all aware that poverty has a feminine face. However, our communities comprise both women and men, and for them to remain wholesome, both sexes must be provided with opportunities to be better able to look after their families and by so doing, build better communities,” she told the gathering.
Ms. Whittaker stated that the workshop was seeking to equip the participants with a number of skills and knowledge necessary for the job market. She stressed that “knowledge is power” and in today’s world where competition “is rife”, a potential employee must demonstrate he/she had more than academic qualifications.
Acting Director of the Bureau of Gender Affairs, Patricia Hackett-Codrington, said the workshop was timely, especially in the current economic crisis, when persons were forced to “make choices about what they will or will not do” in order to survive.