As the world moves to observe International Women’s Day on March 8, Minister of Labour and Social Partnership Relations, Colin Jordan, has linked the day’s theme with Barbados’ launch of its Gender-based Violence (GBV) In The Workplace Project with UN Women.
Speaking at the March 1 ceremony on the Zoom platform, the Minister told UN representatives and stakeholders in the public, private and the third sectors: “I am keenly aware that we are gathered virtually for this launch of this two-year Gender-based Violence in the Workplace Project exactly one week before the world celebrates International Women’s Day on March 8 under the theme #ChooseToChallenge.
“This theme underscores the need to challenge bias and stereotypes. It underscores the need to challenge those who believe that a bad status quo should be the way that we exist as a people. It underscores the need to challenge gender-based violence and harassment, including gender-based violence and harassment in the world of work.”
He recalled that on June 21, 2019, Barbados stood on the podium at United Nations Headquarters in Geneva and did just that when it assisted with the formulation of a new convention, “the result of two years of hard work by a large number of persons”.
“I asked the delegates who were gathered at the Centenary Conference of the International Labour Organization to adopt a new Convention, what became Convention 190 “Violence and Harassment in the World of Work”. I said then, and I repeat now, ‘Violence and harassment in the world of work is a scourge that must be eliminated’.
“And I must tell you that in the discussion and debate leading up to finalising Convention 190, Barbados had to take a strong position in order to have included in that Convention the statement including ‘gender-based violence and harassment’. It was not easy, but we chose to challenge,” Mr. Jordan explained.
International Women’s Day, which first took place on March 8, 1911, is a global day celebrating the achievements of women and how far they have come in the fight for their rights within the political, cultural, and social spheres.