OAS St. Kitts and Nevis Representative highlights value and importance of women’s role in politics

(Left to right) Phelma Richards (standing), St. Maarten’s Prime Minister Hon. Sarah Wescott-Williams; St. Kitts and Nevis’ Minister of Health, Social Services, Community Development, Gender Affairs and Culture, Hon. Marcella Liburd; OAS Representative, Mr. Starrett Greene and Leader of the Opposition in the Trinidad and Tobago Senate and former Deputy Speaker in Trinidad and Tobago Parliament, Hon. Ms. Penny Beckels

ST. KITTS, DECEMBER 13TH 2010 (CUOPM) – The Organisation of American States (OAS) Country Representative in St. Kitts and Nevis, Mr. Starret Greene says while it is essential for more women to become involved in the decision making process at the highest political levels, they are also needed to secure the gains they have already made.

“It is not enough to do battle at the legislative and policy making levels. Women need to be strategically placed in positions both in the public and private sectors, where they can implement, direct and manage those programmes and initiatives that were specifically designed to achieve greater equality, remove the biases and prejudices against women and eliminate all forms of discrimination,” said Mr. Greene said.

Addressing an OAS-sponsored forum at the Frigate Bay Beach Resort, in collaboration with “Winning with Women” under the project, entitled “Regional Network of Women in Politics – Promoting the Participation of Women in Politics for Good Governance and Democracy,” Mr. Greene said he is pleased with the progress being made on behalf of women everywhere.

He remarked while it might not be as rapid as some would wish, in the eyes of others, there is still substantial disparity in the make-up of Parliaments in the Caribbean region and indeed in the Western Hemisphere as a whole.

“But as the saying goes ‘Rome was not built in a day.’ Hence the struggle continues. We know that many other battles remain to be fought. The campaign for justice and freedom and gender equality must maintain its momentum. Remaining focus is the battle cry. Standing united is the motto; conquering now and still to conquer is the strategic mindset, and enduring to the end is what will bring the victory,” said the OAS Representative.

He disclosed that the project entitled “Regional Network of Women in Politics – Promoting the Participation of Women in Politics for Good Governance and Democracy,” emerged from the collective efforts of the OAS and its partners in the Caribbean region, including the Caribbean Institute for Women in Leadership.

“Together we are working to bring about improvements in the status of women and to ensure their unimpeded involvement in every framework of our society. This is a mandate that my organisation will continue to pursue with vigor and without wavering. We are grateful for the indispensable support of our partners,” said Mr. Greene.

He said that the OAS, through its Inter-American Commission on Women (CIM), continues to give support through various programmes, projects and activities, designed to improve the welfare of women and girls in the Caribbean Region.

Six years ago, the OAS funded a technical cooperation project at the regional level that involved Antigua and Barbuda, Guyana and the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis.

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