Sunday, March 3, 2024

AG: Include men in gender equality plans

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by GERCINE CARTERMen must be included in any policy initiatives aimed at achieving  gender equality, says Acting Prime Minister Freundel Stuart.Delivering the feature address at the Ninth Commonwealth Women’s Affairs Ministers meeting at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre last night, Stuart told the large gathering of local and international delegates: “Men and boys are essential partners in the pursuit of gender equality and no-one can deny the emerging gaps affecting men.”He said though the focus was on the impact of the economic situation on women, “we cannot let our vision be tunnelled into solutions that directly impact on women and girls alone”.Stuart, who is also Attorney General and Minister of Home Affairs, called for groups representing men’s issues to be engaged to ensure a “collaborative approach in seeking solutions” to gender equality.He also called on women’s affairs ministers who were present to devise mechanisms to counter difficulties experienced in the reporting of gender issues.“One of the challenges that has been observed in seeking to address the concerns we share as they relate to the issue of gender equality, is that states are overwhelmed with requirements to submit information to facilitate the monitoring and evaluating of their responses to international instruments.”And he advised: “In these trying economic circumstances, capacity building of state organs has to be strategically managed. What is needed and what I want to urge you to consider in your deliberations, is the identification of mechanisms to address this situation.”The theme of the thee-day conference is Gender Issues In Economic Crisis, Recovery And Beyond: Women As Agents Of Transformation.Stuart also spoke on the “commendable success” achieved by the Caribbean region in promoting gender equality and the empowerment of women. He noted, however, there was still work to be done.The Commonwealth Women’s Affairs Ministers meeting will examine the impact of the the current global economic crisis on the lives of women.“By limiting women’s involvement in the regulation of issues that affect their lives, we are denying our communities opportunities to fully engage our human capital in the quest for economic and social development,” Stuart warned.    

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