Wednesday, 9 July 2014

Unity important, says Senator Ifill


THE member organisations of the Caribbean Association of Women (CARIWA) are being urged to continue working together to advance the rights of women across this region.

That call has come from the President of the Barbados Senate, Senator Kerryann Ifill. She made it while delivering the feature address at the recent installation and closing ceremony of the 22nd Biennial Conference of CARIWA in Barbados, as she noted that many organisations are often faced with the challenge of developing and sustaining a unified purpose.

“It has been my experience that we have meetings every year, every two years, as regional entities, and at the end of the conference, we are inspired, we are invigorated, we will knock down walls, we will march on this, we will take sledgehammers to that.

“Then we go home, and in three months time, who’s CARIWA? And we remember it two weeks before the conference, two years later,” she said.

Senator Ifill added, “Those of us who have the opportunity to have staffed secretariats, we’re a little bit more organised than that, but we still find it a struggle to maintain the momentum across the region… and it takes a lot more effort than we thought it should take.”

While that is often the reality of organisations, Senator Ifill maintained that CARIWA must not lose hope, and instead strive to ensure that the mandate that has been set out in the recently concluded meeting and prior meetings, are effectively executed.

Upholding rights

Her comments came as she noted that while the Caribbean does have its own unique challenges that face women and girls, the region has much to be thankful for. Nevertheless, as she referred to examples of injustices perpetrated against women, Senator Ifill said organisations like CARIWA must endeavour to keep the rights of women and girls foremost in the minds of the region.

“We are a blessed people. Not just blessed because we live in some of the best surroundings, some of the most beautiful; our countries are relatively stable politically. We don’t have to cope with wars; we don’t have to cope with a lot of the struggles and challenges that people face in other places… We in the Caribbean don’t have to face such indignities, not on the scale that people in Africa and Asia and other territories have to face,” she added. (JRT)

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