Dr. Byer Suckoo

A new 10-member National Advisory Council on Gender has been appointed and an inaugural meeting will be held next week with the members and the Minister of Youth, Family and Sports, Dr. Esther Byer Suckoo, to look at the way forward.

Chairperson of the Council is Joan Cuffie, Acting Head of the Institute for Gender and Development Studies at the University of the West Indies, while her deputy is Ralph Boyce, President of the Men’s Educational Support Association.

Other members include President of the National Organisation of Women, Yvonne Walkes; Danny Babb of the Barbados Youth Development Council; and representatives of the Ministries of Community Development and Culture; Youth, Family and Sports; and the Barbados Evangelical Association. The appointments took effect last October 1 and are for three years.

Director of the Bureau of Gender Affairs, John Hollingsworth, said the Council would be of great assistance, especially since its membership was so diverse, representing a cross-section of the social institutions that impact on gender relations.

“Through the members’ experience and expertise, the Council as a body is well positioned to advise Government through the Minister on appropriate plans of action to address gender-related issues to minimise the impact on national development,” Mr. Hollingsworth stated.

The Council will, among other things, monitor the progress made in the implementation of conventions and international plans of action, and advise the Minister on matters affecting the interests of men and women, particularly in the areas of respect, dignity, justice, human rights and human development.

It will also investigate and report on complaints of discrimination against women and men, while promoting policies and programmes aimed at eliminating all forms of discrimination, sexual harassment, violence and marginalisation between the sexes. In addition, the members will assist in formulating a National Policy on Gender and a National Plan of Action on Gender.

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