As the world celebrates International Women’s Day, the Prime Minister Mark Phillips has lauded and highlighted the contributions of women , especially in the areas of climate change, the environment and sustainability.
However, he stated Tuesday’s observance serves as just another stark reminder of the long way we must go to achieve Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment as outlined in SDG 5. “An assessment of the current injustices faced by women does not paint a pleasant picture: an unbelievable increase in violence against women and girls across the world brought on by the pressures of the pandemic; rising poverty among women and gross under-representation in decision-making positions are only a few of the challenges that women continue to face globally.”
In light of those horrifying trends, the Prime Minister stated that his government will play their part to eradicate those ills. However, it was stated that this must done in conjunction with efforts by the private sector, by communities, by large groups and individuals.
“The empowerment of women, children and vulnerable groups was a pillar enshrined in the PPP/C Manifesto through incentives and programmes to access microfinance in the commercial banking system, the establishment of women’s micro and small businesses through training, mentoring and grants and increased mainstream participation in governance.
Along this grain, I wish to take a moment to commend the outstanding work of the Minister of Human Resources and Social Security, Dr Vindhya Persaud, who has stood as a bastion in her Ministry’s neverending efforts to represent and empower our women and girls while contributing to the achievement of this government’s vision. The Minister’s work from the moment this government took office speaks for itself. It lays out a vivid story of a government that wholeheartedly believes in the value of women to our society at large.”
He pinpointed several strides government has made already, such as the Women’s Innovation and Investment Network (WIIN) Programme which saw over 1,500 women gaining access to skills training in various areas; and, more than 4,000 women being able to start up or enhance their small businesses through the recently launched ‘Empowerment Fund.’ He also highlighted the the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security’s second “We Lift” exhibition, which I had the honour to attend.
This year, this occasion is being held under the theme “Gender equality today for a sustainable tomorrow”