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Beckles urges women to become educated in different areas, including Government

Beckles urges women to become educated in different areas, including Government

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Despite the many advances and privileges afforded to women since the dawn of the feminist movement, women are still being marginalized today.{{more}}

And while women only possess a mere one per cent of the world’s wealth, the empowerment of women to the point where they can become the agents of change is important.

This was the objective of a two-day National Congress of Women of St Vincent and the Grenadines which ended here yesterday, Thursday, March 22, at the Peace Memorial Hall.

The two-day event, held under the theme ‘Women Rising!! Crisis and Response – Women as Agents of Change’ was convened to equip women from across all sectors to empower themselves in order to influence policies that have a direct impact on them.

The congress was put together by a number of organizations, including the Organisation of American States (OAS), the Gender Affairs Division and the National Council of Women, Jacinta Elliott, member of the organizing committee, explained.

She was speaking at the opening ceremony on Wednesday.

“Participants will prepare and consider proposals on a broad range of subjects, including economic development, security, education, health and political and legal participation,” Elliott said.

Director of Social Development in the Ministry of National Mobilisation Eli Francis explained that collaboration was critical to facilitate progress.

“Let us all work together. We cannot do it on our own. We need your support and you need our support,” Francis said.

The quality and importance of women was very important, he added, as was evident in the types of roles that women play in society.

“Women of St Vincent and the Grenadines this is your national congress. It is time for your voices to be heard,” Melene Glynn, Country Representative for the Organisation of American States (OAS), said.

There have been many stories for the struggle for equality and justice and peace, but while they have been phenomenal, millions of women continue to suffer from persistent discrimination and the lack of human rights.

“For many women, the denial of these basic human rights are accompanied by the perpetration of violent acts committed against them by family members, strangers, state actors and state agents,” Glynn continued.

But it was necessary to continue to face up to these challenges and to find a way to end violence against women and put them in a position to be decision makers.

“The voices, of women, particularly your voices, are critical to this process,” she said.

Senator Penelope Beckles, Leader of the Opposition Business in the Trinidad and Tobago Senate and keynote speaker at the event, explained that women are an integral part to any decision making process.

Research has proven that women do a better job in positions of management, Beckles explained, yet women were still not reaching their potential.

It was very important, therefore, that women educate themselves in a variety of areas, including government, the governing processes, building codes, policies dealing with rape and victims of domestic abuse.

According to Beckles, it was expected that at the end of the two-day congress that participants will become more sensitized as to what they need to do to empower themselves to be an integral part of the policy making process.

“Let us understand the power that is available to women and that we can make a real difference,” Beckles said.(DD)

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