CARICOM head makes plea for equal rights for women
Secretary General says the development of rural women in the Caribbean threatened by gender-based violence.
ST. JOHN’S, Antigua, Friday March 9, 2012 – The CARICOM Secretariat will soon publish the findings of the report Youth, Masculinities and Violence in the Caribbean.
This was disclosed by CARICOM Secretary General, Irwin LaRocque during his message to mark International Women’s Day, under the theme Empower Rural Women – End Hunger and Poverty, yesterday.
The report was prepared by CARICOM Advocate for Gender Justice, Dr. Rosina Wiltshire, who has co-ordinated research in several Member States to gather the data.
LaRocque said the development of rural women in the Caribbean was threatened by gender-based violence. “There is a pressing need to engage young women and men, girls and boys in advancing gender equality and eliminating and preventing all forms of violence against women and girls,” he said.
He added that rural women constituted one-fourth of the world’s population, and stressed that if they were granted equal access to productive resources, agricultural yields, the number of chronically hungry people could be reduced between 100 and 150 million.
The Secretary-General said rural women accounted for a great portion of the agricultural labour force, and produced the majority of the food grown.
He added the Secretariat also launched its public campaign products produced during a workshop in Suriname last year. That will see 15 artists from Belize, Guyana and Suriname blending their voices to the global campaign led by the United Nations Secretary-General to end violence against women.
“They produced public service announcements, jingles, a calypso and a documentary on sexual, psychological and physical violence and we are pleased to share these with Member States of the Community,” he said, noting the project was sponsored by UN Women.