Sixty young women will hear the inspiring stories of some successful women when the Bureau of Gender Affairs, in conjunction with the National Organisation of Women (NOW), hosts a colloquium to commemorate International Women’s Day on Thursday, March 8.

It will be held at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre on that day and the participants will be fourth and fifth form students from secondary schools, the Barbados Youth Service, the Guild of Undergraduates and student bodies from the Barbados Community College and the Samuel Jackman Prescod Polytechnic.

Connecting Girls – Inspiring Futures is the theme of this year’s celebrations and the speakers will share with the young adults how they were able to progress professionally. It is expected that the highest gazetted female police officer in St. Vincent, Assistant Superintendent Kaemicia Blake, will take part in the discussions; as well as Accountant Lisa Padmore, Agriculturalist Andelle Harewood-Young and activist Tonya Haynes.

Underscoring the importance of the session, Director of the Bureau, Patricia Hackett-Codrington, said: "We need to engage our young women to take the process of women’s empowerment forward. The Bureau and NOW believe that a lot of young women are not showing the kind of interest older women had in empowerment and they need to be sensitised.

"They came along when opportunities were abounding and they don’t understand the struggles women went through to reach this stage where they are achieving. So, therefore, we need to bring the young women on board to inspire the future," Mrs. Hackett-Codrington stated.

International Women’s Day is observed annually on March 8 and it seeks to celebrate women’s economic, political and social achievements throughout history and across nations.

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