Antigua and Barbuda’s Gender Affairs Minister Samantha Marshall will leave the island this week, accompanied by the Acting Director of Gender Affairs Jamie Saunders to participate in the Commission on the Status (CSW) of Women in New York.
The (CSW) is the principal global intergovernmental body exclusively dedicated to the promotion of gender equality and the empowerment of women.
Saunders said the meeting is an opportunity for different Member States, civil society, and regional and international organizations that are mandated to work within the field of gender equality and woman empowerment.
“They come together and negotiate text that will form part of concluding observations that will shape what the different Member States country’s priorities are for the year,” he said.
Saunders said there are also ministerial roundtables on various gender equality, and equality topics, as well as the national statements that are made around the respective theme every year.
“This year the theme is Looking at Digital Innovation and Technology and Education for Gender Equality. And so, Minister Marshall will be delivering a general statement, she should be participating in the ministerial roundtable on the same topic, and she’ll also be taking part in some bilateral meetings with other Member States and international organizations,” Saunders added
Meanwhile, Saunders says there must be a more inclusive approach for LGBTQ and the disabled.
“So one of the things and corresponding with the theme is to see, you know, more women and girls taking part and having access to opportunities. We have seen gradual and incremental improvements over the years… It’s always a controversial topic when you speak of marginalized groups like, you know, LGBTQ and persons, even presidents, even with disabilities and things like that. And we want to see a more inclusive approach,” he explained
The Directorate is also involved in programs geared toward building the skills of locals
“That’s something we’re trying to have as one of our flagship program programs going forward. And it’s geared towards enhancing the capacity of men and women who want to develop skills that they can leverage to generate money, generate educational opportunities, to generate professional opportunities for themselves,” he said
“So far, we are now immersed in our first program for the year, which is looking at strategic entrepreneurship”