Acting Prime Minister, Freundel Stuart??

A Government Minister is making a case for an end to women’s exclusion from the critical areas of societal development – a situation which he described as one of the last remaining bastions in need of dismantlement.

Acting Prime Minister, Freundel Stuart, made this appeal last Tuesday night as he addressed the opening ceremony of the Ninth Commonwealth Women’s Affairs Meeting (9th WAMM) at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre.

He implored the large gathering of local and overseas delegates, to accede to the requirements of the Commonwealth Action for Gender Equality 2005-2015 and added: "By limiting women’s involvement in the regulation of issues that affect their lives, we are denying our communities the opportunity to fully engage our human capital, in the quest for economic and social development."

Mr. Stuart further stated: "Let us, therefore, as a progressive-thinking global community, seek to remove the disabling obstacles that hinder the improvement of our sisters, cousins, nieces, aunts, mothers and grandmothers.?? Some of us, women included, hold fast to the archaic world view of a hegemonic masculinity and in keeping with that philosophy, we reject the need for change."

?????????????????????? Noting that 2010 represented a landmark in the signing of conventions and agreements such as the 30th anniversary of the Convention for the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, NULL, NULL, 0); the 15th anniversary of the Beijing Platform for Action; the 10th anniversary of?? the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and the 5th year of the Commonwealth Plan of Action for Gender Equality, he urged the gender specialists to use the 9th WAMM to reaffirm their commitment to pursuing the objectives contained therein.

"I suggest that you select issues of particular concern to your society for immediate and concerted action to improve the situation of all women.?? Thus, the same applies to CEDAW, the MDGs and the Commonwealth Plan of Action for Gender Equality, as it is recognised that they cut across the boundaries of equality, development and peace and that they are inter-linked and mutually reinforcing," the Acting Prime Minister opined.

?????????????????????? In ??In light of this, Mr. Stuart implored delegates not "to miss the opportunity afforded by this consultation of Ministers of Women Affairs and their development partners, to make a difference in the lives of our women who are adversely affected by the prevailing economic climate". Julie Wilson (JW) – jwilson@barbados.gov.bb

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