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Acting Director of the Bureau of Gender Affairs, Patricia Hackett-Codrington, discussing the document with Programme Officer, Patricia Boyce.????

Barbados’ draft report on the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) for 2004-2009, came under the microscope today, when the Bureau of Gender Affairs, and some of its stakeholders met to review the document.

And, the paper will be modified to reflect the key suggestions made by the stakeholders, so it can be presented to Cabinet for approval shortly, thereafter. It will then be forwarded to the United Nations (UN), through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Acting Director of the Bureau, Patricia Hackett-Codrington, described the discussions as "productive". She said similar meetings were also held with officials from the Ministries of Education, Social Care, Labour and Youth, Family and Sports, so their input could be garnered.

Officials of??the Bureau of Gender Affairs and some of their stakeholders reviewing the draft CEDAW Report.

Mrs. Hackett-Codrington pointed out that a report outlining the country’s progress during a specific period is submitted to the UN quadrennially.

"Barbados has put in place several initiatives since signing on to the Convention to help our women develop. For example, we have been able to give an update on the assistance women have been receiving in agriculture through the Rural Development Commission, and the poverty programmes which were implemented to help them," she stated.

But, the acting Director explained out that the Bureau sometimes encountered difficulties receiving information from the relevant departments, causing the report to be delayed.

CEDAW was adopted by the UN General Assembly in 1981 and Barbados signed on three years later. Over 100 countries are signatories to the 30 article Convention, which covers all forms of discrimination against women.

It is a comprehensive international agreement that is intended to improve the status of women. The treaty promotes women’s equal attainment of economic, social, cultural, civil and political rights and is also concerned with human reproduction, as well as with the impact of cultural factors on gender relations. It requires states to eliminate traditional and stereotyped ideas of the roles of the sexes. saustin@barbados.gov.bb

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