Albert-Poyotte Urges Regional Governments To Commit To Gender Equality

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Minister for the Public Service, Home Affairs, Labour and Gender Affairs, Honourable Dr. Virginia Albert-Poyotte appealed to the CARICOM Secretariat and regional governments to commit financial, material and human resources to achieve gender equality outcomes in national and regional development.

Minister Poyotte made the statement Tuesday August 16 at the opening of a National Consultation on the CARICOM Draft Regional Gender Equality Strategy held at the Bay Gardens Hotel.

Forty-two participants representing 32 governmental and non-governmental agencies from Saint Lucia participated in the consultation, which is being conducted in all CARICOM member states.

Dr. Albert- Poyotte applauded Ms. Ann-Marie Williams, the CARICOM Deputy Programme Manager, Gender and Development, who facilitated the consultation, and praised the CARICOM Secretariat on its much anticipated leadership in the regional coordination of gender equality.

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According to Dr. Albert-Poyotte, “the consultations are timely given that the COVID-19 pandemic reversed hard-earned gender equality gains in the region by an estimated 20 years.” She stressed the need for networking, collaboration and strategic partnerships for implementation of the strategy both at the regional and national levels.

The Gender Affairs minister implored the participants at the workshop to ensure that the specific interests and challenges of Saint Lucia are represented in the regional strategy. Workshop participants demonstrated a high level of commitment to the process, highlighting several Saint Lucia specific considerations with regional implications such as measures to address coordination for freedom from violence; how to foster greater social inclusion and reduce gender-specific contributors to poverty; how to ensure more inclusive and collaborative sustainable natural resource management and environmental sustainability; instituting measures for more equitable economic empowerment that is inclusive and participatory; eliminating barriers to inclusive quality education; promoting equitable access to health care; and promoting good governance through strategic gender mainstreaming; and gender parity in political participation and decision making.

Dr. Albert-Poyotte implored the Department of Gender Affairs to ensure the inclusion of new initiatives for gender equality in the upcoming national budget so as to guarantee the allocation of adequate financial resources for gender equality outcomes in all sectors.

The Minister pledged the commitment of the Government of Saint Lucia to the regional gender strategy.

SOURCE: Department of Gender Affairs

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24 COMMENTS

  1. @My Take Your historical references are valid, and of course have contributed to the current gender status. However, as you say, many rights have been fought for and won eg voting (and access to contraception too!). Women in the Caribbean and elsewhere, do not necessarily behave as a ‘sisterhood’ and are not necessarily supportive of each other. Competing with each other for men (my point about the fatherless children) so men alone cannot be blamed for those outcomes. To my mind there is too much one sidedness and blame. BTW I have fought very strongly for female and human rights in general; not only online comments but actual lobbying of Politicians and other ‘real world’ actions. I believe that a communal holistic approach works far more effectively for gender (as well as education, health and race) equality.

  2. @The Crow, you have a point. I do understand your concerns. I am not writing from the stance of hating men. My son used to come home from school and tell me a girl hit him and she would tell him ‘You cannot hit me back because I am a girl.” He is now a teenager and he says some girls at school pinch his butt but he knows if he pinches theirs he will get in trouble. So I do understand your concern as a well meaning male. But there are alot of males out there spoiling it for people like you. I had to take my son’s father to the Family Court years ago because he refused to support him when I started dating someone else due to his personality issues. He was not married and still isn’t married. But he is one of those males who feel they have a lifelong pass to you once you have brought their child into the world. My son is now growing up and sometimes says ‘My dad is a jerk.’ He isn’t working full time at the moment, but he has skills that he can pass on to his son. I have discussed it with him, but he shows no interest in doing so. So you see how some of them create problems and the woman is left with the sole responsibility of molding that child into a decent individual. Sometimes she succeeds, sometimes she doesn’t.
    To conclude @Equality for all, your comment also has me wondering about your views on the rights of a child. Doesn’t that child deserve or should I say have a right to be supported whether or not the father is married? Most men who father children out of wedlock lie to the woman and make her believe they are single. Especially back in the day when there was no social media. Or if the woman knows they are married, they will bad talk their wife and make her look like the worst person alive while they are the most miserable person on the planet. And of course because they cannot stand the unhappiness, they will leave soon. Most times the young inexperienced woman falls for the lies of the older devious man. Some Lucian women need to stop blaming other women for their man’s bad manners. Usually, when these men can no longer get women out there, they turn to the girls in the home. Of course wifey will be quiet. It is always another woman’s fault.

  3. @Equity For All, you have a point concerning young women who have become a bit entitled. But I always tell young women to remember that women couldn’t vote up until one hundred years ago. These are rights for which women had to fight. Also there are still places around the world where women have no right to education. For hundreds of years, a married woman was basically her husband’s property to do with as he pleased. A women at best could only hope to marry a man who would provide for her and treat her humanely. So women today need to be taught the roots of the women’s movement and they shouldn’t take this progress for granted.
    In terms of your comments about men who are not supporting their children, if you look around, most of them are not married. There simply exists this culture which I think stems from slavery where some black men feel someone else will take care of their children for them. The black men on the plantations were prized for having many children- none of which of course they were responsible for financially. Unfortunately, some black men still have that loose mentality towards supporting their children. Also there is this Creole saying that people who have kids never actually go their separate ways. Some of these men actually believe that they have a right to a woman just because they have a child with her and once the woman refuses to be physical with them or moves on with someone else, they can only get financial support by taking them to the Family Court.

    • @My Take. You have brought out some salient points to which there is no argument however, don’t you believe that the points you brought out (such as father’s not taking up their responsibility) needs to be addressed just as vigorously by the Gender Relations department? What have they done in this particular regard is agitate with the court to punish males. We can see that punishment is not the answer because the problem still exist.

      The Gender Relations department is failing men and as a result society is failing. Gender Relations? In my eyes, AWA!

  4. @the Crow and others. You are RIGHT! Gender equality is for ALL members of society and not only females. I am a female, and long term believer in equal rights. And I have always lived by those principles. And I have seen many women in St Lucia who work in the Public Services (& other employment) treat their customers/clients like they have no right to be there accessing their services. This is especially true of younger women who want all their “rights” but not the responsibilities that work brings. And for those women who blame men for the fatherless children – it takes two to tango! Don’t blame the men when you sleep with other women’s husbands, partners, boyfriends. Women also need to be held accountable for their behaviour. Too much blame, too little self-respect and a complete lack of empathy with people who do not have access to education, employment or the other basics that EVERY individual in society deserves.

  5. @ Straight up. Please do not speculate we know what we are experiencing as students at the department of nursing at SALCC. Our experience at the department under that administration can be comfortably described as a nightmare. Women(students) should never be treated in such a disrespectful and degrading manner. Please interview any student who is part of that department for further clarification. Thank you.

  6. I am really concern about those statements related to the administrative operations at the Department of Nursing at SALCC. There are certainly to many complaints about the administration. Authorities please investigate. We need our Nurses.

  7. The nursing department at SALCC is working in isolation. The administration of the department of nursing at SALCC in my opinion is only concern about draining the students financially. The administration is certainly not student oriented. Kindly visit the department and ask the students at random.

  8. @Straight Forward, I simply asked a question and made a statement based on my experience and that of many others with nurses at hospitals on island. Especially in the north. I take it you are in the health sector, or a nursing student and your rude attitude is proof of what people have to deal with when they must interact with you at health institutions. Keep showing your true colours.

  9. All the talk about empowering women and gender equality, look all the people in the picture and you will see it is those already empowered and have reached parity with the men. I don’t see the grass roots women who are giving off the time, energy and little resources to help the less fortunate women> I don’t see the real women that need the motivation.

  10. I have been hearing about issues at the Nursing Department (SALCC) for the past few months. Can the specific issues be outlined? I am beginning to wonder if it is a case of higher standards being set for nurses to obtain their qualifications and some who have adapted to a culture of mediocrity and even below that sometimes in that sector are having problems adjusting. God knows the standard for nursing in St. Lucia needs to be set higher. Too many people who graduate to go to hospitals to treat patients like animals.

    • Well @Straight up you seem to know so much, you should tell us what are the specific standards that are being raised. If all the confusion surrounding that Department with the way the head deals with lectures and students, you call it raising standards? You claim that you are only hearing of these “issues” in the last few months. Well it is nice that you arefinally awake or have finally crawled from under the rock that you were hiding under. You mean you did not hear about the one where that same administration made the students sign up for a Nursing Degree and after completing the first two years had difficulty continuing because the rest of the modules were not yet fully developed? You mean you were under the rock still when that administration insisted that students had to be fully vaccinated before doing the final practicums (a policy that the college nor the other institutions had in place and was not part of the policy when the students signed up)?
      And I can go own telling you a lot more, but since you just became aware of your surroundings, it might be too much for you to take in. Please stay awake and do not go back under that rock.

  11. So, based on the points you raised, don’t you see the problem as being important that it even affects the whole society? I believe it’s more important that how much women get or not get. The high rate of father absenteeism, the high crime rate, the high rate of male incarceration, etc affects all facet of society (including women). So, don’t you think fixing what is wrong with men will bode well for all of society? Feminists like you are too selfish to see the big picture.

  12. And whose fault is it that more women are pursuing higher education than men? You will see women coming to night classes with their children when the men are out there doing who knows what. The men are not doing it and sometimes they actively discourage the woman telling them they need to focus on home responsibilities. In their minds, they give women children to keep them down. But many women find a way to rise, and they rise with their children. Then the man will sit on the side and sulk. @The Crow, society is supposed to feel sorry for these men?

  13. And whose fault is it that more women are pursuing higher education than men? You will see women coming to night classes with their children when the men are out there doing who knows what. The men are not doing it and sometimes they actively discourage the woman telling them they need to focus on home responsibilities. In their minds, they give women children to keep them down. But many women find a way to rise, and they rise with their children. Then the man will sit on the side and sulk. @The Crow, society is supposed to feel sorry for these men?

  14. @The Crow. alot of black males are the ones trying to emasculate themselves and their own offsprings by refusing to take care of them. Spreading their seeds everywhere and putting money in hairy banks. The family court should have sympathy on them? I think not.

    • This is a societal issue and thus should be addressed just as any “woman” issue. I’m sure if the shoe was on the other foot, you would be singing another song. And by the way, your point is very invalid.

  15. In my opinion women will continue to be disadvantage simply because women are women worst enemy. Example the department of nursing at SALCC is heavily populated by young women students. Nevertheless, they continue to receive very disgusting treatment by administration( woman).

  16. What the hell is gender equality? None of these bloody people can realistically and sensibly iterate. As far as I see, what these people are pushing is women centric issues. But here are a few questions:
    1. Who receive harsher sentences even though the same crime is committed?
    2. At the family court, who is being given greater sympathy by the judge?
    3. Who are 99% more likely to be killed through violent means?
    4. Who is more likely to finish secondary school and move on to tertiary level education?
    5. Who is more likely to be looked at with suspicion raising children as a single parent?
    6. Who is more likely to inflict self inflicted harm (suicide)?

    I can go on and on with the questions. But as we can see men’s issues are not the concern of the “gender equality” department. The whole idea of “gender equality” is the emasculate the male species. And they are right on target.

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