Women still have more rights on paper than in practice, Organization of American States representative to Barbados Francis McBarnette has suggested.
And he today urged women to challenge male privilege and the ‘old boys’ club’ while addressing the opening of an advocacy seminar hosted by the Bureau of Gender Affairs, the National Advisory Council of Gender and the Institute for Gender and Development Studies to celebrate the Day of Women in the Americas.
“This battle is yours to fight. It is yours to call arms,” he told the gathering at the 3Ws Oval at University of West Indies, Cave Hill Campus.
The OAS representative to Barbados charged that the inability to close this gap was one of the biggest obstacles that democratic governments faced as they sought to attain sustainable development, effective governance and human security he maintained it was possible
“Closing the implementation gap on women’s rights will be accomplished by women leaders – with the support and engagement of men and women champions in all sectors,” McBarnette stressed.
Reiterating the commitment of the Americas to the United Nations 2030 Sustainable Development Goals to gender equality and empowerment of women and girls, he said that the empowerment of women and girls, “fuels strong and sustainable economics and strengthens the legitimacy of democratic systems by allowing greater diversity of voices to contribute to political economic and social discourse and decision making”.
Meanwhile, Lecturer at the Institute of Gender and Development Studies Dr Tonya Haynes expressed concern that the rights of women in the region continued to be violated.
“Women sexual reproductive health and rights continues to be compromised in the region due to in access to state legal abortion, inadequate health care, persistence violence against women and girls and discriminatory laws.
“Overcoming the exclusions that intersect with race and gender is part of the legacy of women in the Americas [and] women still have a lot to overcome,” she said.]]>