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OAS celebrates ‘Day of the Women of the Americas’ today

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Today, Friday, February 18, 2011, the member countries of the Organization of American States (OAS) celebrate the Day of the Women of the Americas.

The Day of the Women of the Americas was established in 1982, through a Resolution of the OAS General Assembly, to commemorate the creation of the Inter-American Commission of Women (CIM) – the first official inter-governmental agency in the world, founded expressly to ensure recognition of the civil and political rights of women.{{more}} Since its inauguration in 1928, the CIM has evolved into the principal forum for debating and formulating policy on gender equality and women’s empowerment in the Americas. By commemorating the Day, the OAS General Assembly recognized the vital role that the women of the Americas have played as agents of social change.

The main objective of the Day is to stimulate new initiatives and establish programs of action dedicated to involving women fully and permanently in their countries’ development. In this, the twenty-ninth year of recognition of the Day, the CIM encourages the participation of all Member States in the celebration of women’s roles as fundamental actors and vital constituents in their societies. In support of the Day, and in pursuit of its central tenets of gender equity and gender equality, the CIM maintains a constant dialogue with the women of the Americas, in order to exchange ideas and experiences and to promote policies that will increase women’s voices in the development process.

In St. Vincent and the Grenadines, three activities to recognize the Day, as well as International Women’s Day (March 8), are being organized through the collaborative efforts of a number of institutions, including the Organization of American States, the Ministry of National Mobilization, the National Council of Women, the Embassy of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, Rastafari Women and The Vincentian, among others.

First, today, February 18, a Press Conference will be held at the Embassy of Venezuela, at 10:00 am, to provide information on the Day and to hear brief statements from representatives of the Organization of American States, the Ministry of National Mobilization, the National Council of Women and the Embassy of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela.

Then on Monday, February 28, 2011, a Panel Discussion on the theme – “Women, Democracy and Leadership” will be convened at 9:00 am at the Peace Memorial Hall. Directing the discussion will be women leaders from St. Vincent and the Grenadines and from the CIM. The third activity will also be held on February 28. Commencing at 1:30 pm at the same venue, a Leadership Seminar will be held for young women leaders, with the objective of energizing and empowering them for future action and leadership.

The general public is invited to join with the organizing committee in celebrating these activities.