Barbados’ Principal delegate and Vice President of the Inter – American Commission on Women (CIM), Senator Irene Sandiford-Garner.

Women need to be empowered to live their lives free of the threat of violence and discrimination and have access to employment.

This assertion was made today by Barbados’ Principal delegate and Vice President of the Inter – American Commission on Women (CIM), Senator Irene Sandiford-Garner.?? She was addressing a workshop on Women’s Leadership in celebration of the Day of Women of the Americas, at the Almond Bay Resort.

Senator Sandiford-Garner pointed out that "If a woman is allowed to make her own decisions will impact on how she performs duties in the workplace and her life."

She further said that the commission concentrated much of its efforts on the elimination of violence against women, and had always highlighted the importance of women participating in all facets of life.????

"We need to make equal opportunities for women and men an integral part of all areas of policy because this is the only way that the society would become truly developed.?? We cannot promote one sex without the other. The equal participation of women and men in decision-making processes should be our major goal," the Senator maintained.

Senator Sandiford-Garner stated that there were still instances where women were looked down upon for working.

"Women working outside the home face discrimination, much of which springs from the deep-seated belief, among both men and women, that women should be situated in the home and the man in the public arena.?? Gender equity in all spheres, particularly politics and leadership, must go hand-in-hand with changes in beliefs about the family and labour market," she added.

The CIM Vice President stressed the importance of women who hold positions in society, and encouraged other women to do the same.

"We need to reflect on our lives as female politicians and leaders to determine how we are impacting on our fellow sisters; and ask ourselves the question: what are we doing to empower and to encourage them to walk the path that so many, who have encountered similar experiences, have walked before," she emphasised.

The interactive workshop also featured lectures, presentations and a panel discussion.????


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