Press Release:- Minister for Education, Innovation, Gender Relations and Sustainable Development Hon. Dr. Gale Rigobert today – Thursday April 11, 2019 – delivered opening remarks at a High-Level Regional Dialogue, convened by Equality and Justice Alliance (EJA) in Saint Lucia.
The High-level Dialogue, which runs from April 11 to 12, is being hosted by the Executive Director of the Royal Commonwealth Society Dr Greg Munro, in closed session. The Equality & Justice Alliance (EJA) comprises four international NGOs.
In April 2018, the EJA launched a technical assistance programme that seeks to assist Commonwealth governments in achieving equality, by providing support and resources to them in their process of reforming discriminatory laws in their countries.
Minister Rigobert’s remarks discussed the legal and policy reform priorities of the Department of Gender Relations. Dr. Rigobert also announced her Ministry’s intention to embark on a Technical Assistance Programme with the EJA to be delivered from April 2019 to 2020.
Whilst on island, Sisters for Change officials will meet with officials from the Departments of Education, Innovation and Gender Relations; the Department of Equity, Social Justice, and Empowerment and other government officials to finalize the scope, timelines and budget of the Technical Assistance Programme.
According to the Executive Director for Sisters for Change Allison Gordon (one of the NGO’s that make up the Alliance), “The regional dialogue “will bring together 20 – 25 senior officials, policy makers, lawmakers and champions in legislative reform from across the Caribbean to share experiences of reforming discriminatory laws and policies to advance equality and challenge structural and systemic discrimination. It will also provide a platform to introduce the EJA programme in more detail to delegates and discuss opportunities for engagement with the wider EJA Initiative.”
Saint Lucia’s Technical Assistance Programme focuses on the amendment and introduction of Domestic Violence and Sexual Harassment legislation.
It seeks to further identify discriminatory laws that are not compliant with international conventions ratified by Saint Lucia, and develop a plan of action to remove, update and amend them, in keeping with recommendations on the last report submitted to the Committee for the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW).
The programme also seeks to assist Saint Lucia in reaching its goal of submitting its seventh to ninth combined CEDAW report by the end of this year.