Speaker of the House of Assembly and President of the Local Branch of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association Alix Boyd-Knights has said that though a lot has been achieved by women over the years, there is still much to be done.
With this year’s Commonwealth Day theme “Women Agents of Change,” Boyd-Knights has highlighted what she says is a very low percentage of women in parliament within the Commonwealth.
Her comments came at a special Commonwealth Day Commemoration Service at the Arawak House of Culture yesterday.
“It is being recognized that although over half of the Commonwealth two billion people are women, there are still less women in parliament than men and only six Commonwealth members have met the millennium development goals of three percent females’ representation in parliament,” she stated.
She also mentioned many other challenges faced by women in the Commonwealth.
“Two-thirds of women work part-time, in either seasonal or low paying jobs. One woman every minute dies from complications in pregnancy and child birth and for every 100 of this, 66 are in the Commonwealth. About two-thirds of the 33 million people living with HIV/AIDS in commonwealth countries these are women,” she stated.
She added, “According to the Global Monitoring report 2010 72 million children are still out of school and girls still account for over 54 percent at primary level; and what is more, they are far less likely than boys to attend secondary school.”
The speaker of the house said that while it is time to reflect and examine disadvantageous situations, it is also time to highlight the roles that women have played in the various spheres of life.
She singled out a number of local women who have made significant contributions to the country. They include the late Dame Eugenia Charles and this year’s Calypso Monarch Tasha P.
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