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Spouses of CARICOM leaders call for equal participation and leadership of women

Posted: Tuesday, March 9, 2021. 11:44 am CST.

By BBN Staff: The spouses of CARICOM Leaders Action Network (SCLAN) issued a statement today emphasizing the importance of equal participation and leadership.

SCLAN says that World” International Women’s Day, celebrated annually on March 8, creates the space to take stock of the progress made and milestones achieved in gender equality and to recognize the distance yet to be travelled.

 This year’s theme, “Women in Leadership: Achieving an Equal Future in a COVID-19 World,” focuses on the road ahead and the barriers to overcome to ensure that equality for all women is realized in this changing world.

In recent years, there has been a steady rise in women’s continued participation in the political domain. However, progress has been slow.

According to UN Women, women are Heads of State of Government in only 20 countries worldwide.

 In a recent UN Report, in 2020, women still only held 21 per cent of ministerial positions, only a five-point increase since 2010.

“With the implementation of fast tracking measures such as quotas employed by democratic states, only 14 countries have cabinets with 50 per cent or more positions held by women. Following this trend, equality for women in leadership positions will take another century while the inequalities continue to pervade the lives of women globally. The novel COVID-19 pandemic challenged all facets of our world and further exacerbated existing inequalities, specifically gender inequalities,” SCLAN stated.

The network says that women’s equal participation and leadership, as well as the elimination of violence, is essential to achieving the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals by 2030.

The network says that it has to be a concerted effort at the local, regional and international levels in order for the Sustainable Development Goals to be realized.

“While it is important to address the issues affecting women and influence changes in policy and legislation, there needs to be stronger commitment to encourage women’s participation and break systemic barriers that challenge women’s access to a seat at the table. Inclusive representation is integral to democracy and good governance. Women in leadership will provide insights on policy making and implementation, especially as it relates to the widespread and layered issues affecting women and children,” it added.

SCLAN says that women have demonstrated their ability to be effective leaders and demonstrate their efficiency in advocating for meaningful actions towards equality and COVID-19 recovery.

SCLAN noted that the COVID-19 pandemic has revealed inadequacies in our way of thinking and doing and has pointed to the way we need to reorient our actions and strategies to meet the challenges of this new world.

SCLAN further called on all governments, civil society organizations, national and international communities to decide that International Women’s Day 2021 is the day that we all #ChooseToChallenge


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