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CARICOM Secretariat begins consultation on draft gender equality strategy

The CARICOM Secretariat is launching a series of consultations on the draft

CARICOM Regional Gender Equality Strategy (CRGES) beginning on Tuesday 26 July 2022.

Senior officials in Ministries of Gender, Education, Health, Labour, Environment, and Finance from Guyana, Suriname, the British Virgin Islands, and the Cayman Islands are expected to participate virtually, in the first of a series of national and regional consultations on the Strategy.

The Strategy has seven areas of focus and aligns with international frameworks including the 1979 Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), the Beijing Platform for Action, and the Sustainable Development 2030 Agenda. It also CARICOM’s Gender Equality Policy that aims to strengthen the CARICOM Secretariat’s capacity to champion gender equality and empowerment of women by working with the Member States, and international and regional development partners.

The seven priority areas are gender equality and social inclusion; freedom from violence; economic empowerment; good governance; access to health services; inclusive quality education and sustainable natural resource management.

Titled Stepping it up: A strategy to achieve gender equality in the Caribbean Community, the Strategy underscores CARICOM’s commitment to strengthening the promotion and practice of gender equality as well as the empowerment of women and girls.

The CARICOM Secretariat anticipates that the consultations will help to ensure that the process towards the finalization of the Strategy is inclusive, participatory, and reflects the input of the wider Caribbean Community.

Deputy Programme Manager for Gender within the CARICOM Secretariat, Ms. Ann-Marie Williams said that the consultations also provide the opportunity for stakeholders to discuss the Strategy’s vision, mission, and objectives.

She added that the engagements with key stakeholders will address the challenges and opportunities identified in each area of focus as well as new and emerging issues around gender equality.

The recommendations emanating from the consultations, which end on July 29, are also expected to strengthen the implementation process, Ms Williams said.

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