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BE OUR GUEST: Women all agents of change


MARILYN RICE-BOWEN

BE OUR GUEST: Women all agents of change

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TODAY, the eve of International Women’s Day, we join with women worldwide to celebrate and recognise our achievements, and to identify strategies to solve the challenges of this century.
In the early 1900s when the observance of this day commenced, women demanded peace during times of war, shorter working hours, better pay and voting rights. Whereas we can celebrate the aforementioned, today in 2014 we are faced with domestic violence, which continues to cause irreparable damage to the family unit.
We share the view that Equality For Women Is Progress For All. Under the theme of Inspiring Change, we observe that no business park has a nursery facility within the area.
Single women head 44.2 per cent of our homes – thus provisions should be made for the children of our nation. 
We will continue to request that our day nurseries mirror the working hours of our women. Until it becomes a reality, we will continue our call for the establishment of a night nursery. Our children shouldn’t be left home alone.
We the women of Barbados will also lobby for a Paternity Leave Act. If our society is to be strengthened, then our homes must be stabilised.
Transportation in this country, which today is monopolized by men, had its birth from the bowels of the woman. Rocklyn was owned and managed by Mrs Rock; Liberty – Mrs Weatherhead; St George Bus Company – Mrs Simpson; and Central – Madam Ifill. Women, use this information as a springboard to position you into your economic space. International reports reveal that in order to emerge from the economic recession the participation of women is pivotal.
As more people are requiring home care, so as to avoid being a burden of the state, women, mostly, assume the role of caregiver. But the role of caregiver shouldn’t reduce a woman’s economic independence. There must be flexible working arrangements to allow caregivers to rejoin the workforce.
Inspiring Change – let us use these words as our compass to guide us into action. Let us recommit ourselves to the task at hand. Let us remind ourselves that as we stand on the shoulders of our female trailblazers we do so in the knowledge that as women equipped with the vision of survival, we will ensure that our families, our society and our country prosper during these days of recession.
Happy International Women’s Day.
Marilyn Rice-Bowen is president of the National Organisation of Women.

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