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NOW’s call for a home

CAROL MARTINDALE, [email protected]

NOW’s call for a home

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The National Organization for Women (NOW) has issued a plea to Minister of Social Care, Constituency and Community Development Steve Blackett to help provide it with a home.
President Marilyn Rice-Bowen made the call while delivering the president’s report at the organization’s biennial general meeting at the Government complex in Warrens today.
“Despite our growth and membership base we still maintain a nomadic existence, thus unable to attract international donors. An organization that operates a post office box and a mobile telephone number is usually overlooked on the international donor arena.”
The 43-year-old women’s advocacy umbrella body operates from the home of the Young Women’s Christian Association (YWCA) in The Farm, Deacons Road, St Michael. Bowen is also YMCA president.
NOW claims more than 5 000 members spanning across 18 organizations.
Noting that they were not begging for or demanding accommodation, Rice-Bowen added: “Our counterparts MESA [Men’s Educational Support Association], they have enjoyed accommodation fully paid for by the Government of Barbados for over six years. Today we repeat our call for a safe working space for our women . . . . What we are doing this morning is seeking an entitlement.”
Directing her attention to the minister, Rice-Bowen said “in the interest of fairness and gender justice we are awaiting a call for a safe space for a secretariat. We do not want a headquarters. We want a safe space for the National Organization of Women”.
In his response, Blackett promised to have the necessary dialogue on helping the organization to get a home “in the near future”. (MM)