Posted: Wednesday, March 8, 2023. 10:18 pm CST.
By Aaron Humes: Secretary-General of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), Dr Carla Barnett, has issued remarks on the occasion of International Women’s Day and the theme of equalizing the genders through innovation and technology.
Dr Barnett noted that technology and innovation open new avenues for women and girls, including in education and new careers, opening paths previously closed to them, especially in the areas of the Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics (STEAM) fields. This provides women with more opportunities to participate in the workforce, which can lead to greater economic independence, empowerment, and higher pay.
Women must still balance work arrangements with family responsibilities but benefit from improved access to health care including reproductive health.
On the flip side, new pitfalls including increased online violence, harassment and privacy violations disproportionately affect women and girls according to Dr Barnett.
There remain traditional concerns standing in the way of achieving women’s equality as Dr Barnett reminded: women’s political participation, unpaid care and domestic work, the impact of climate change, and gender-based violence which is a public health crisis in the Region.
“According to the global average, one in three women has experienced physical and/or sexual violence at some point in her lifetime, usually from an intimate partner. In the Caribbean region, prevalence surveys conducted between 2016-2018 in five Member States indicate incidence rates as high as one in two women,” Dr Barnett cited, drawing attention to the female population in Haiti whose rights are being grossly violated by gang members that lawlessly stalk the country with the collapse of its government.
Dr Barnett concluded, “Therefore, as we observe International Women’s Day across the Community, let us work toward greater representation of women and girls in all areas of leadership and decision-making, especially in technology, politics, business, health, the arts, and culture. By so doing, we can create a more inclusive and equitable “DigitALL” world where innovation and technology bridge gender equality.”
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