As countries around the world celebrate today as the Day of Women of the Americas, Barbadian women are being encouraged to be bold, fearless and step out of their comfort zone.

This advice came today from Parliamentary Secretary in the Ministry of Tourism and International Transport and Principal Delegate to the Inter-American Commission on Women (CIM), Senator Irene Sandiford-Garner, while speaking at a Leadership Training Workshop for women at Baobab Tower, Warrens, St. Michael.

According to her, such action was necessary in order for females to maximise the existing opportunities that are available to them.

???Although we now have more access to technical resources, the lack of financial support and lingering beliefs ??? I would prefer to say myths ??? about the capacity and role of women restrain some of us from reaching our maximum potential.

“Our own ideology as women sometimes acts as a prison and makes us hesitant to step out of our comfort zone. We need to continue the struggle for equality in those areas where inequality exists in order to reduce existing disparities,??? she explained.

The Parliamentary Secretary added that Government, through its Bureau of Gender Affairs, was in the process of developing a new gender policy that would seek to ensure that the human rights of Barbadians were not marginalised.

???It will seek to address those lingering gaps that affect our men and women???it will enable us to further identify and work with diligence to remove remaining gender differences between men and women and help us fulfill the mandate of the CIM to promote full and equal access for women both at the political and community level,??? she maintained.

Speaking specifically to participants at the workshop, the Parliamentary Secretary urged them to embrace the new knowledge and to use the skills gained, as it was incumbent on them to develop new tools and methodologies, as well as embrace new ideas, to overcome the challenges that they will face in the future.

???Furthermore, I hope that you take the time and the opportunity to share this new knowledge in any way you can, thus supporting us in our efforts to empower our women. Each person???s effort is important within this fight. We do not want to leave anyone behind. Let us work together in empowering our sisters,??? she implored.

Also speaking at the workshop was Director of the Bureau of Gender Affairs, Mildred Hunte, whose department was responsible for coordinating the event. She pointed out that good leadership was necessary if an organisation was to achieve its objectives and be successful.

She stated that it was therefore important that women were empowered, as this allowed them to make significant input into their organisations and address the issues which affected families in communities.

???Leadership demands action, communication and a vision. It is clear that there are different situations which require specific types of leadership skills. Times of crisis will require a different type of leadership because the situation is different from what would be considered normal.

“Leaders must be able to adapt as situations and circumstances change. New skills will be required as organisations continue to develop or experience periods of decline,??? the Director advised.

During the workshop, participants were instructed on What is Leadership, Community Leadership, and Gender Dynamics of Leadership.

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