Wednesday, 23 July 2014

UN aiming to get more women elected

THE Caribbean has one of the lowest rates of women political participation in the world; lower than the Arab region for most countries.

Representative of the UN Women Multi-Country Office – Caribbean, Christine Arab, made this observation during the recently held culmination of the “Breakfast Club”, of the Barbados Council for the Disabled in collaboration with the Business and Professional Women’s Club of Barbados.

She shared that leadership is but one of the areas UN Women focuses on, through working with political parties to get more women elected.

“We work with men and women politicians about trying to make sure that the policies they put forward are gender responsive, and more inclusive.”

The recently launched Women in Politics Map 2014 by the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) and UN Women showed that Grenada’s jump from two to five women (33.3 per cent) Members of Parliament in the Lower House after the 2013 General Elections, saw that country move past the minimum target of 30 per cent of seats being held by women.

Guyana was identified as the only other country in the English-speaking Caribbean that has attained the above 30 per cent ratio and the only country in the Caribbean to have adopted a temporary special measure to increase women’s political participation.

The two Caribbean countries are grouped in the Americas region which has seen the second highest rate of increase in women in parliament during 1995-2013 with 12.5 percentage points. It also maintains its top spot on the regional average tables with 25.2 per cent.

“Every election is a critical opportunity to make progress towards the increased participation of women as voters and as candidates,” says UN Women Deputy Executive Director, John Hendra.

“This map shows the value of having data, of being able to measure and track women’s political participation over time. It’s a great tool for benchmarking progress and for ensuring accountability.” (TL)

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