[Press Release] Ahead of the fifty-sixth (56th) meeting of the Presiding Officers of the Regional Conference of Women in Latin America and the Caribbean to be held in Santiago, Chile from July 30 to July 31, 2018, the Ministry of Education, Innovation, Gender Relations and Sustainable Development is hosting a consultation on the topic “Women’s Autonomy in Changing Economic Scenarios”, with specific emphasis on the Saint Lucian context.
The high-level event is expected to explore the opinions of key stakeholders on issues relating to equality and women’s autonomy. Participants are expected to:
- Discuss women’s autonomy in the current economic context as it relates to economic growth, the rate of employment, the quality of employment and the gender gaps that exist in that regard;
- Examine the economic policies that hinder or enhance women’s employability and autonomy in Saint Lucia; and
- Explore how international agreements such as the Montevideo strategy contribute to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The Montevideo Strategy, which will be a central focus of the consultation, serves as a roadmap to guide the implementation of the Regional Gender Agenda and ensure that countries are well poised to achieve the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development at the regional level, from the perspective of gender equality, women’s autonomy and human rights. The event is expected to attract men and women from regional agencies, academia, politics, business, the media and civil society and is scheduled for Thursday, July 26, 2018 at the Auberge Seraphine Conference Room from 10:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Minister with responsibility for Gender Relations Hon. Dr. Gale T C Rigobert says she is particularly excited about the consultation which has generated much cross-sectoral interest. “I am very optimistic about the level of discourse which will ensue, and which I am confident will inform the country’s posture and thrust with respect to realizing the SDGs that pertain to women and girls in particular”, she said leading up to the event. She continued, “Of increasing concern to us in the region, however, is the perceived ‘disappearance of our boys/males’ and the increasing trend of under performance by boys, which now require urgent intervention.” Dr. Rigobert has indicated that she and her team have raised the issue in several fora, and in her recent meetings with regional and international development and lending agencies, flagged this as an area in which the Government of Saint Lucia is actively seeking technical and material assistance.