By Monique Washington
International Soca Artist Destra, local poets, singers, actors and steel pan players all performed on Wednesday, March 22, 2017 at the Villa Grounds. This was a part of a two-day region forum focusing on the rights for women and girls in the region.
Hundreds of women, children and men marched from the old cinema to the Villa grounds dressed in white, purple and orange shirts captioned “I am woman” and “Be Bold for Change”.
Junior Minister in charge of Gender and Social Development, Hon. Hazel Brandy-Williams stated “This afternoon was an activity to showcase women and to rally about women issues, domestic violence, violence against women in general, women equity, same pay for same working and much more.”
In continuing, the Minister informed that the two-day regional forum was being held at the Mount Nevis Hotel and a number of countries in the OECS were represented.
Hon. Brandy-Williams told Nevispages “Today, (March 22, 2017) we dealt with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) that dealt specifically with women and girls. Today was more about awareness and information dissemination. At the end of the day we will see where we are as a region in terms of implementing the SDG”.
She said that day two (2) will focus on women in politics
Hon. Brandy-Williams stated that the SDG goal five (5) deals with women in politics and the fact that over the years in the region, a very large percent of women advancing in the elective politics is not evident. She continued by stating that although there are women in leadership, for unknown reasons the very same women are not shattering the ‘glass ceiling’ and upgrading to that level as men are known to do.
Stating brief but significant facts, Hon. Brandy-Williams highlighted that in the region for every $1.00 a man makes, a woman makes 0.70 cents.
Brandy-Williams concluded by saying, “This means we are 0.30cents behind even if we are doing the same work. Therefore, we see there is work to be done. We have made great strides over the years but we wish to see more women in the position where those hard decisions are being made, especially in the interest of women”.