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Country Women Meet

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It is clear that women are making a vast contribution to the development of nations. Long gone are the days when men were seen as having a stronghold on society. {{more}}

The opening ceremony of the Associated Country Women of the World 5th Area Conference was held on Wednesday at the Methodist Church Hall under the theme “From Beijing to Millennium Goals.”

President of the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Federation for Women’s Institute Incorporated, Agnetta Robertson attested to the fact that women are making huge leaps in the development of society as she made mention of soon-to-be Jamaican Prime Minister, Portia Simpson Miller. “It is a monumental step for women in rural areas and women all over the world,” Robertson said.

Delivering the feature address was Minister of National Mobilisation, Social Development and Local Government, Mike Browne. Minister Browne said his awareness of the conference came about two months ago and he was elated to deliver an address. He said that the conference theme provides an important parameter of the worldwide progress made by women and particularly rural women over the past decade. He said women have collaborated importantly with Government in the creation of Gender sensitive policies and legislation, which are geared towards the furtherance of gender equity, equality and the ending of discrimination.

Browne outlined that his ministry is determined to move sub-regionally to have a harmonised approach to dealing with these kinds of legislation so that OECS countries can move together to carry forward the women’s agenda. He further added that his government, cognisant of the need to give more focused attention to rural development, had established a new portfolio called the Ministry of Rural Transformation in December of last year, which is headed by Hon. Selmon Walters. Minister Browne said the focus on rural transformation would not only develop women in rural areas but also the whole country.

Making the journey from Malaysia was the World President of ACWW, Ursula Goh. Goh added to what Robertson said earlier that indeed it is a monumental step for women. She stated that the worldwide organisation that has over nine million members strives for the uplifting of women in societies over the world. The session had an historic significance since this was the first time the conference was held in St. Vincent and the Grenadines. She added that endless efforts were made to have the conference here since they had held other Conferences in Columbia, Guyana and twice in Trinidad and Tobago. The world president described the theme for the conference, as fitting as it helps to manifest the achievements of women: “The gathering of women across the world will help to expand and make their voices heard in a more prominent aspect.”

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