(GINA, Guyana) – MINISTER of Social Protection, Amna Ally,has urged developed Caribbean Community (CARICOM) countries to fulfil their commitments for the official development assistance with increased priority to gender equality and women’s empowerment.
Minister of Social Protection, Amna Ally; Minister of Public Health, Volda Lawrence; Gender Specialist, Ministry of Social Protection, Hazel Halley- Burnette and Guyana’s Ambassador to the UN, Ambassador Michael Ten-Pow, were at the Sixth-first Session of the Commission on the Status of Women, at United Nations Headquarters in New York
The Minister was at the time speaking on behalf of CARICOM countries at the Sixth-first Session of the Commission on the Status of Women, at United Nations Headquarters in New York. The session was held on March 13, 2017, under the theme: “Women’s economic empowerment in the changing world of work.”
Minister Ally told the gathering that CARICOM wishes to reiterate that a significant factor which affects the ability of member states to meet their goals and targets, including in the area of advancement of women, is that of inadequate resources.
The Minister pointed out that in January 2017, the Secretary-General of CARICOM signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with UN-Women to support the Community’s work on gender and regional statistics.
She said this MOU will allow for the collection of Caribbean-wide data, statistics and analysis on implementation of the gender dimensions of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
“It is therefore necessary for efforts to be made with regard to official development assistance with increased priority to gender equality and the empowerment of women,” Minister Ally emphasised.
The Minister of Social Protection highlighted that women play a critical role in the socio-economic and political development of the Caribbean. She added that member states of CARICOM are working assiduously towards achievement of the internationally agreed development goals and objectives relative to gender equality and the empowerment of women.
“As small states, we believe that providing women and girls with equal access to quality education, healthcare, decent work, and representation in political and economic decision-making processes will fuel sustainable economies and benefit societies and humanity at large. As such, the theme of this year’s session is indeed relevant…in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development,” Minister Ally underlined.
The Minister explained that there have been improvements in women’s economic and social status including the gender gaps in education, access to healthcare services, labour force participation and political engagement.
However, despite these accomplishments in many countries when women succeed in entering the labour market, they still face disadvantages compared to men.
Additionally, while Mother-to-Child transmission of HIV has been eliminated, the health of women, teenage pregnancy and barriers to women’s access or permanence in the labour market remain great concerns, Minister Ally said. She added that challenges in domestic violence remain a problem.
The Minister highlighted several other problems women are faced with including unemployment and underemployment, discriminatory social norms and inequality in the sharing of family responsibilities.
However, she affirmed that member states of CARICOM will continue to support and strive for the attainment of women’s economic empowerment and health.
(By: Ranetta La Fleur)