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Dr. Lewis calls for a better deal for women

Dr. Lewis calls for a better deal for women


Political Scientist, Dr. Vaughn Lewis, who once served as Prime Minister of St. Lucia and first Director General of the OECS Secretariat, in a lecture this week explained that currently there are increasing discussions across the region surrounding the need for quotas in Parliament to establish an environment that is more conducive for women.

Dr. Lewis is of the view that the current situation does not create conditions which facilitate access for women to Parliament.{{more}}

Addressing the topic “Governance, Democracy and Development” which was subtitled “Challenges of these Times”, Dr. Lewis noted that institutional arrangements fall short for women in the timing of meetings, lack of access to day care facilities, and provision of financial allowances for the proper care of children.

“Men do not think of these things when they’re in Parliament,” said Dr. Lewis on Tuesday, August 8, at the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) 25th Anniversary Lecture at Kingstown Methodist Church Hall.

Meanwhile, Dr. Lewis noted, that there is a present need in the Caribbean for economic adjustments. He called on the OECS members to make adjustments on the domestic front in respect of both economic policies and the modernizing of domestic institutions for decision making. He added there is also a need to make adjustment on the external front to facilitate the introduction of the Caribbean Single Market and Economy (CSME), and the new terms under which the region can trade in the international environment.

Dr. Lewis stated that this demands a wider process of consultation between the government and the masses to ensure that those policy decisions taken have a sufficient popular legitimacy to permit effective implementation.

Legitimacy, said Dr. Lewis, requires understanding, hence the Parliamentary institutions must now reorganize themselves to enhance their educational role and bring that role above the combative and divisive role that now seems to characterize so much of them.

Dr. Lewis called on the civil society to play a more visible role alongside other stakeholders in the new society.