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The President of the Senate, Alincia Williams Grant, Senate Minority Leader, Shawn Nicholas, and Independent Senator, Kiz Johnson, took part in a discussion among female parliamentarians and civil society members from the Caribbean that was held in St Lucia.
The multi-stakeholder dialogue, which took place from October 31 to November 1, 2023, was organized by ParlAmericas, the United Nations Women Multi-Country Office for the Caribbean, and the Parliament of Saint Lucia.
The event was attended by representatives from over 20 Caribbean nations who discussed issues related to gender equality.
Despite progress made towards gender parity, violence against women and girls (VAWG) remains a significant problem in the Caribbean, with 46% of women in the region having experienced at least one form of violence in their lifetime.
This has led to long-term psycho-social, economic, and health consequences, and, in some cases, loss of life. The alarming statistics and VAWG issues discussed during the dialogue have encouraged Caribbean parliamentarians to continue fighting for gender equality with renewed energy.
Antigua and Barbuda’s three parliamentarians, including President of the Senate, Alincia Williams Grant, participated in the dialogue and contributed to the discussion.
President Williams Grant was part of a panel that explored ways to promote gender equality and end VAWG within and through parliament.
She called for more women to enter the political space to address VAWG issues, adding that the Antiguan and Barbudan Legislative structure has provided avenues for increased participation and voicing of gender issues within a structured space, such as the Youth Parliament, the Young Women in Leadership, and the President’s 10 programs.
The dialogue concluded with a special session in which parliamentarians reviewed and made contributions to the joint statement titled, “Stronger Together: Propelling Sustainable Development, Gender Equality, and an end to Violence against Women and Girls in the Caribbean.”
On November 2, 2023, an exchange among representatives of Caribbean women’s parliamentary caucuses was held, giving participants the opportunity to report on the status of the gender caucus committee in their respective parliaments and identify areas for strengthening.
The Network Antigua of Women’s Parliamentarians of Antigua and Barbuda (gender caucus) was established in 2019.