KINGSTOWN, St. Vincent – This country will convene its first ever National Women’s Congress on March 21-22 under the theme ““Women Rising, Crisis and Response-Women as Agents of Change.”
Speaking at the media launch of the event this week, Nelcia Robinson-Hazel, president of the National Council of Women (NCW) and chair of the organising committee said the congress hopes to create an understanding in women of their role in national development within the context of the Beijing Platform of Action, the Commonwealth Plan of Action for Gender Equality and the Millennium Development Goals.
The event will also seek to provide a forum for the voices and concerns of women of all sectors, including rural women, people with disabilities, youth, and indigenous and Rastafarian women.
Organisers are also hoping that the congress will build national solidarity among women in groups.
“Participants will consider and prepare proposal on a broad range of subjects, including economic development, trade and finance, peace and security, education, health leadership and political participation with a focus on the cross-cutting themes of gender equity, women’s right and indigenous women,” Robinson-Hazel said.
“The main outcome of the congress will be a statement reflecting the views of Vincentian women on these subjects, which, it is hoped, will influence policy and translate into better socio-economic conditions for women in the areas that affect them most,” Robinson-Hazel said.
“A platform for women to build national solidarity and maintain a voice in the process of national development is also expected to be a major output of this event,” she further stated, adding that the results of the congress will be shared at a public march and rally at the close of event.
Broad-based organising committee is coordinating the congress, with support from the NCW, the Venezuelan Embassy, the Organisation of American States, and the Gender Affairs Department.
The secretariat is located at the Bertram Richards educational Institute — the old Intermediate High School, under the leadership of congress coordinator Theresa Daniel.