Discussion held on Bequia for International Women’s Day
The Grenadine island of Bequia was not left out of activities to celebrate International Womenâs Day (IWD).
This year, thanks to Cheryl Johnson, long-time social activist and advocate of womenâs rights, and herself an entrepreneur in the tourism industry, a round-table discussion was organised at the Fig Tree restaurant, Belmont walkway. Johnson had also been instrumental in organising previous IWD activities in Bequia.
The discussion attracted the participation of women from different countries and nationalities including Africa, Germany, the UK, USA, Canada, and St Vincent and the Grenadines. Following these there was rich discussion on some of the most pertinent issues affecting women with a view towards seeking practical solutions through empowerment programmes geared to improving the economic status of women.
The issue of gender-based violence generated much discussion with concerns expressed about the continuing acceptance of this scourge by many women because of their dependence on men for the livelihood of themselves and their children. It was also noted that this has a negative effect on the full participation of women in the development process.
Arising from the discussion there was agreement on developing a project to harness the skills of local women and share them with others in income-generating activities with the support of the Grenadines Development Fund. This, it is expected, will help to reduce the dependency of women on their men-folk. It was stressed that strategies to ensure the continuity and sustainability of the project must be worked out as well.
A childrenâs reading and debating competition is to be coordinated by Cheryl Johnson, Shevorn Ollivierre and Tina Mitchell.
There were also cultural presentations, including poetry-reading which enriched the proceedings.