THE President of Raise Your Voice St. Lucia Catherine Sealys has issued a strong call for women to stand tall and step out of the shadows of men in order to become the true leaders that they have the potential to be.
This call comes ahead of International Women’s Day which will be observed on Wednesday the 8th of this month.
Sealys made the bold statement in reference to the internet polls and statistics showing that St. Lucia is the third country in the world with the highest percentage of women in managerial positions, with a 52.3 percentage, while Colombia is ranked second with 53.1% and Jamaica is at number one with a whopping 59.3%.
Despite the facts, Sealys said: “It is time for women to stand, it’s time for women to speak, it’s time for women to represent women, and it’s time for women to lead! Women are in positions but they are not leading. They take their cues from men and they play out the men’s agendas as opposed to women’s agendas.”
Notwithstanding the major feat women have achieved over the years, Sealys continued to say that whilst this achievement is admirable, women are still far from where they should be, and this is mostly due to no fault of their own: “Women have come far because of ambition. They educate themselves and get promoted etc; however, while women have the positions, I don’t get a serious sense that they have power, because a lot of things occur that can happen better and differently. I find that they don’t make strong decisions, and while we can boast that we have the most women in managerial positions, let’s look back and see what the tangible effects and outcomes for having women in these positions. We have a lot of women in serious and high level positions within the public service, but we must also look at the public service and say they could be doing a lot better. Things are not as they should be, and a lot of women delegate their power out of fear, out of not being able to stand in confidence to make the strong decisions even though they have the jobs, and this is kind of a disappointment for me as a woman.”
The RYV President spoke out on another major topic that has befallen women, violence, abuse and discrimination.
Sealys said there is a serious need for a justice system that is consistent with providing better services to women.
She believes that one of the things that should be done is for the same women in high level positions to come out and stand in solidarity with women who fall victim to these matters.
Sealys said: “Women have to come out and speak against these things, make their voices heard so they can say; ‘I am the manager/Director/Person in Charge of this establishment and I speak to support women who are being abused, violated, raped, beaten. They don’t do it, they feel their position prevents them from doing it and they feel; ‘It’s not me so it doesn’t matter.”
She continued: “If women want to have full control of the fact that they are in the majority when it comes to positions of power, they have to show slate and they have to say ‘It is going to be done!’ and they have to stand strong and say; ‘I am the one who is going to do it!”
When asked what Women’s Day means to her, the passionate women’s activist said this is the day when they celebrate the achievement of women in every sector, looking at how far women have come and what they’ve achieved during that time, as well as how successful they have been with what they are good at doing.
She said they also look at the things they could be doing better as well as the contributions that they make to their respective societies.
To celebrate this day, on Wednesday there will be a movie night, focusing on the achievements of black women. Sealys said: “We think this is a good time for women to get together to sit and watch how much women have achieved and how far they’ve come over the years.”
Also, RYV has partnered with the Civil Service Association and will be hosting a lunch at Bel Jou Hotel on Friday from noon to 2:00 p.m.
Sealys appealed to all those interested, to come out in large numbers to be part of the celebration.