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EDITORIAL: Celebrating women’s progress

marciadottin, [email protected]

EDITORIAL: Celebrating women’s progress

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TODAY WE OBSERVE International Women’s Day, a time to celebrate the economic and social advances made by women, often under challenging circumstances. It is also a day to draw attention to the injustices and inequality they encounter even today. This is a time – today and tomorrow – when we must work together to inspire change for all women.
We have witnessed significant improvements in Barbados over the past five decades in the lives of our womenfolk.
They have made significant advances in all spheres of human endeavour. Much of the process has had to do with access to education. The advocacy of many women and men has also resulted in legal, political, and socio-economic changes for women in this country. We must thank all those who challenged the status quo on behalf of our mothers, wives, daughters, sisters and aunts.
They are now leaders in various professions, as educators, in business and commerce, in agriculture and in politics.
They are self-employed and also entrepreneurs. They are successful in sports and hold key positions within our public sector. We know what they are capable of achieving.
Our most famous citizen internationally is a woman, Robin Fenty – Rihanna – the award-winning entertainer and businesswoman, who is a role model for millions of women across the world.
But, there are still many women in this society who have not reaped success. They still lack education, and they must confront violence almost daily. We all know the stories of the hardships these women encounter continually.
We speak specifically of the violence against women. It may be rape, human trafficking or the worrisome problem of domestic abuse. Abuse is still heaped on members of the lesbian community and ostracism by their own families often occurs.
This thread of violence can only have a severe negative impact on our womenfolk, denying many of their dignity and the right to enjoy a safe and happy life. Unfortunately, too many die unnecessarily. We must make a real difference in curbing violence against women.
These troubling issues are not restricted to a particular socio-economic class, but cut across ethnic and racial groups, and even religion. It all speaks of inequality for women, who make up more than half of our population.
We must have the correct environment where our women and girls can thrive. Barbados today is a much stronger and better society, thanks to the roles and contribution of our women, both in and out of the home.
It is for those women still oppressed that we must speak in an effort to engender positive change. Talk is not going to be enough; actions will be critical.
Today and beyond we must work together to inspire change for all women.