Barbados remains firmly committed to the advancement of women and girls

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Joseph Goddard, Permanent Representative of Barbados to the UN

Unleashing the potential of rural women — a quarter of the world's population — was critical to ending global poverty and hunger, high-level speakers said today as the Commission on the Status of Women opened its fifty-sixth annual session.

During the debate, there were calls to incorporate gender equality into a wide array of challenging global issues — from sustainable development to migration to urbanization.

Barbados told the Commission that it remains firmly committed to the advancement of women and girls in all spheres of life, guided by the principles of democracy, good governance, gender equality and the promotion and protection of human rights.

Permanent Representative to the United nations Ambassador Joseph Goddard says Barbados prioritized five of the 12 critical areas of concern outlined in the Beijing Platform of Action to guide national efforts to achieve gender equality and social justice.

TAPE: These are as follows: the persistent and increasing burden of poverty on women; violence against women; inequalities and inadequacies in access to health care and related services; the under-representation of women in decision-making positions, including in the higher levels of government; and insufficient mechanisms to promote the advancement of women. Barbados continues its efforts to combat and reduce poverty. A Country Assessment of Living Standards in Barbados was recently concluded and the results have been submitted for the attention of Parliament. The findings of this survey will be used to determine the types of interventions which are necessary to alleviate the incidences of poverty.

NAR: Ambassador Goddard says the Barbados Government maintains a no-tolerance stance towards domestic violence and provides support for public education programmes to raise awareness about the causes and consequences of gender-based violence.

TAPE: A national survey was conducted to gather empirical evidence on the prevalence of domestic violence in Barbados. One of the recommendations of the consultation at which the findings were presented, was a review of the legislation on domestic violence. The consultative process of reviewing the legislation has already begun. The Barbados Government also continues its financial support to the Business and Professional Women of Barbados, an NGO which manages the domestic violence crisis hotline and shelter for battered women. Barbados recognizes that the Caribbean region is affected by the global scourge of human trafficking, to which women are particularly vulnerable. Consequently, national efforts to address this issue include the passage of legislation – the transnational Organized Crime Prevention and Control Act of 2011, which identifies human trafficking as an offence.

NAR: Ambassador Goddard says the Bureau of Gender Affairs continues to execute its major mandate of facilitating the mainstreaming of gender in all national development plans, policies and programmes as Barbados moves towards the goals of gender equality and equity.

This is Donn Bobb reporting.

Duration: 3’06″

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