Time To Celebrate Working Class Women

By Greta Franklin-Brown

INTERNATIONAL Women’s Day is a celebration of women all over the world irrespective of ethnicity, religion, race, class, gender, disability or sexual orientation. It’s a celebration of women of the past, women of today and of women in the future. It is a celebration of the social, economic, cultural and political achievement of women across the globe. Nevertheless, in some countries progress have been very slow, in fact one is inclined to say at a snail’s pace and women are oppressed, some are seen as the properties of their husbands. They are not allowed to drive or indeed participate in politics, domestic violence is common place, and the list goes on and their voices are not heard. The theme for International Women’s Day 2017 is “Be Bold For Change” (IWD) and they are calling on people around the globe to assist, in building a more gender inclusive world.

Given the theme of International Women’s Day 2017 which is celebrated on March 8, myself and a colleague are putting on an event to recognize some of the women in St Lucia who have made enormous contributions to the economy in St. Lucia but have remained invisible in our society. I have termed these women as ‘Entrepreneurs, the unsung Heroes’. The objective is to make visible a group of women who have worked extremely hard in providing for their children and their families, and by their hard work and tenacity, have contributed to the economy. These women are the market vendors, the ladies who sell at the roadside in their trays, the cook who prepares meals and then goes from establishment to establishment to sell their food; the women farmers, the small hairdresser, the seamstress this list is by no means exhaustive. They have worked very hard to send their children to school and indeed many of these children have become successful. The event to be held either the weekend of the 4 on March or March 8 is to acknowledge and recognize some of these women in St Lucia for their valid contributions. We would like this to be an annual event and we are seeking sponsorship.

Too often these women are overlooked and whilst it is wonderful to acknowledge the successful women who have been able to break the glass ceiling, we need to recognize, the other women, the working class, who have made strides in our society, and show our appreciation.

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