Acting Director of the Gender Relations Unit, in the Ministry of Education, Innovation, Gender Relations and Sustainable Development, Janey Joseph, represented the Minister responsible for Gender Relations, Dr. Gale T.C. Rigobert at the sub regional workshop on gender mainstreaming and a Caribbean preparatory meeting of the XIV session of the Regional Conference on Women in Latin America and the Caribbean. This meeting was held in accordance with the agreements adopted at the fifty-eighth meeting of the Presiding Officers of the Regional Conference on Women in Latin America and the Caribbean, held in Santiago, Chile, in January 2019.
The two-day forum hosted by the United Nations Economic Commission on Latin America and the Caribbean, (UN ECLAC) Sub-regional headquarters of the Caribbean, in collaboration with UNFPA and UN Women was held in Trinidad and Tobago from June 17 to 18, 2019. In attendance were delegates from Caribbean countries, organizations from the United Nations system, development banks, academia and civil society.
This workshop was held against the backdrop of a study on Gender Mainstreaming in National Development Planning in the Caribbean being conducted by ECLAC Subregional headquarters for the Caribbean, in collaboration with the Division for Gender Affairs of ECLAC headquarters. Thirteen Caribbean countries, including Saint Lucia are participating in this study. The meeting, therefore, addressed the importance of including a gender perspective in sustainable development planning in the sub-region, in the context of the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
According to the organizers of the event, “This initiative is also part of a broader ECLAC project, funded by the German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ), under its 2018-2020 programme on Planning, Statistics and Financing for the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, with the expected results of strengthening the institutional capacities of Latin American and Caribbean countries in the areas of planning, statistics and financing, through an integrated perspective, for the implementation and follow-up of the Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development.”
The project coordinator, Dr. Gabrielle Hosein, Head of the Institute for Gender and Development Studies, UWI St Augustine Campus presented on the preliminary findings of the study and urged leaders of Caribbean gender agencies to pay greater attention to: Development of gender policies; Inter-ministerial collaboration; Establishment of monitoring and evaluation framework; and Implementation of gender responsive budgeting.
Minister with responsibility for Gender Relations, Dr. Gale T C Rigobert, through the Acting Director conveyed her thanks to UN ECLAC for their technical assistance on the development of a national gender equality policy statement and strategic plan.
Day two of the event featured a Caribbean preparatory meeting for the Regional Conference on Women in Latin America and the Caribbean. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss progress made, and challenges faced in the implementation of the Montevideo Strategy in synergy with the Beijing+25 review. Eight Caribbean countries, including Saint Lucia have so far submitted Beijing +25 Review reports. Saint Lucia was invited to present on its gains in women’s education and training, which was highlighted in the Beijing +25 Review. Ms. Joseph, who represented Saint Lucia had the honour of delivering a message from the Chair of the Regional Conference on Women in Latin America and the Caribbean, A.S. Mariella Mazzotti.
Saint Lucia is well on course to making a significant shift in the gender relations landscape and is grateful for the input of stakeholders and partnership with donor agencies.