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Institutionalized Discrimination Of Unmarried Women & Their Children.

St. Lucia ratified the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) in October 1992, and the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) in June of 1993. To date, the local legislation which must be amended to ensure protection and equality for unmarried women and their children is yet to materialize, while we continue to stand and shout at United Nations General Assembly meetings.

If unmarried women and their children are to enjoy equality; the OECS Family Law Bills must be enacted with corresponding amendments to the Civil Code as regards to (1) succession laws, and (2) removal of references to illegitimate and legitimate children to achieve parity among all children, it is also imperative to amend the Affiliation Act to make child support dependent on means and not a stipulated Two Hundred Dollars ($200.00) per month stipend, in 2016 this is outrageous.

As per the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals; specifically goals 1. No Poverty, 2. Zero Hunger, 5. Gender Equality, 10. Reduced Inequalities and 16. Peace Justice & Strong Institutions, the Government of Saint Lucia must take the necessary steps to create an environment where women and their children can grow to their full potential, these goals will not be realized if women continue to receive Two Hundred Dollars ($200.00) to support a minor children for an entire month while the cost of basic food items continue to rise.

We therefore call on female parliamentarians to provide better representation for the plight of unmarried women and children who are constantly disadvantaged by institutional and legalized discrimination entrenched within our legislative, justice and social systems.

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