CARICOM Secretariat, Turkeyen, Greater Georgetown, Guyana) The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) has joined the international community in saluting the achievements of women in the Region, on the occasion of International Women’s Day, being observed today, March 8, 2011.
“We salute the sterling actions and contributions of the many women who laid strong foundations for the principles of equality and justice in our societies and to the overall development of our Region in all spheres of life,” Ambassador Lolita Applewhaite, CARICOM Acting Secretary-General said in a message to mark the occasion.
“The personal histories of these trailblazers are a source of inspiration, especially to young girls as they define their paths to success that best fit their values and aspirations,” the message states.
This year’s celebration of women is focussing on access and participation of women and girls in education, training, science and technology, including the promotion of women’s access to full employment and decent work.
In her message, Ambassador Applewhaite said International Women’s Day was also an opportunity to “reflect on the gaps to be addressed in order to achieve a deeper and more meaningful sense of social justice, equal rights and dignity for all.”
In this context, she noted the continued efforts for the cause of gender equality by the CARICOM Advocate for Gender Justice, Dr. Rosina Wiltshire.
Given the need to address gender stereotypes which continued to permeate societies, Ambassador Applewhaite said the Region and the international community had responded through mechanisms like the Beijing Platform for Action (BPfA) and the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in safeguarding equality of opportunity in education in areas such as science, technology and innovation.
“The continued implementation of these frameworks will contribute to developing competencies required for the emerging workforce.”
“We must nevertheless remain vigilant in ensuring that our human resource development efforts provide equal access to training and decent work for girls and women,” Ambassador Applewhaite said.
In this centennial year of the observance of International Women’s Day, she said that CARICOM Heads of Government will bestow the Tenth CARICOM Triennial Award on an outstanding CARICOM woman whose work has made a significant contribution to the socio-economic development of the Region. To date, CARICOM has bestowed the award on nine women.
Ambassador Applewhaite said that the Community was looking forward to welcoming the next recipient to this League.