Dame Sandra Mason was officially named the patron of the Soroptimist International Barbados at Accra Beach Hotel and Spa on Monday.
President of Soroptimist International Barbados Judith Toppin presented the Governor General of Barbados with a Patrons Pin which officially appointed her as patron of the women’s organization.
In her welcome, Toppin thanked the Governor General for accepting the invitation to be patron of the women’s organization that focuses on advocacy for young women and girls.
“We are excited, extremely pleased and deeply honoured that Your Excellency so graciously accepted our invitation. So thank you again,” Toppin said.
In the Programme Action Report by Andrea Simon, the organization announced that they will be working on a number of projects at the Government Industrial School for Girls (GIS).
“We will be partnering with Slow Food and the US Embassy to facilitate an educational gardening programme at GIS. The Programme will commence on [July 19] with the planting of the garden and [this] project will be funded primarily by the US Embassy. [In addition,] we will be working with the Young Yam Creations and Mustard Seed to facilitate a drama production at GIS. The purpose will be to use social development issues which impact and affect young people,” Simon said.
Marguerite Woodstock-Riley who is in charge of regional and international affiliations explained the international and regional reach that Soroptimist International has as it continues to advocate for women’s rights. In her slideshow presentation, she highlighted some of the countries where women live in desolate conditions even after fleeing from abuse in some circumstances. Her presentation also showed the importance of advocating for change in many countries where women’s rights are not recognised and gender equality is years away from being equal.
As the Barbados branch seeks to advocate through legislation, Woodstock-Riley also implored the members of the Soroptimist to use some of those issues as their focus.
“I think President Judith wants us to be more involved in making changes through legislation. We certainly have been trying to get changes in the Government Industrial School – the provisions which are at least 100 years old. I think that we have met with the Attorney General for 20 years and that is unfortunate that we have been unable to make any change. But I think we are going to be working on that and different areas that we can advocate for change,” she said. (LG)