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CARICOM holds consultations on Gender Equality Strategy

GeneralCARICOM holds consultations on Gender Equality Strategy

The CARICOM Secretariat is holding a series of consultations with member states on the Regional Gender Equality Strategy, which seeks to achieve and safeguard gender equality in the region

by Khaila Gentle

BELIZE CITY, Fri. Aug. 5, 2022 Consultations on the CARICOM Regional Gender Equality Strategy began in July of this year, and this past Friday, the CARICOM Secretariat began its consultations in Belize. The strategy is being developed with the aim of providing a cohesive framework of actionable steps that the region must take to achieve gender equality across the community.

Friday’s consultation took the form of a workshop, during which participants reviewed the strategy’s seven areas of focus: gender equality and social inclusion; freedom from violence; economic empowerment; good governance; access to health services; inclusive quality education and sustainable natural resource management.

According to the CARICOM Secretariat, those seven areas align with several international frameworks, including the 1979 Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), the Beijing Platform for Action, and the Sustainable Development 2030 Agenda.

The consultations will help to ensure that the process of developing and finalizing the strategy is as inclusive as possible and that it “reflects the input of the wider Caribbean Community.”

Ann-Marie Williams is the Deputy Programme Manager for Gender and Development within the CARICOM Secretariat. She has stated that the engagement with key stakeholders through the consultations will help to address not only the challenges and opportunities identified in each of the seven priority areas but also new and emerging issues.

When it comes to gender equality in the Caribbean—as well as in Latin America—there is still much work to be done. This was highlighted by the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) earlier this year, when a report by the United Nations organization revealed that labor gaps between men and women had widened in 2021.

When it comes to CARICOM, the participation of women in the labor force is lacking in seven member states, including Belize.

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