International Women’s Day Message

The Gender Affairs Committee of the National Union of Public Workers of Barbados joins the rest of the World in celebrating International Women’s Day 2017 under the theme “Be Bold For Change.” We applaud the political, social and economic achievements of the women of Barbados, and across the World.

Woman’s Day was first observed in 1909 in the United States but in 1977, the United Nations officially declared March 8th to be International Women’s Day.

Over the decades, the objective of International Women’s Day celebrations has evolved, and has embraced culture and ethnicity to emerge as a celebration of appreciation, respect, and love towards women.

In Barbados we celebrate and honour the relentless contributions made by the women of our country, whilst paying special homage to, and acknowledging the women in leadership positions across the Public and Private Sectors, trade union and political movements, and within our schools and healthcare sectors. We also acknowledge the hard working women in the precarious work sectors such as Sanitation, General Workers, Drainage Division, National Assistance Board, and the School Meals Department. We thank you all for your contribution towards this, our great nation.

Observing a special day for women where they are glorified to the point of being honoured, awarded, and appreciated is a great stride towards female empowerment. Even after years of awareness and acknowledgement of a woman’s contribution to life, society, family, and work; saluting her strength, resilience and sacrifice women are still majorly considered as second class citizens. This is because of the systemic undermining of the value of women, and their place in society. For generations, it has been ingrained that women are only capable of doing certain, and very specific things.

Empowering women in Barbados is highly necessary to bring about the ultimate goal of gender equality, or we can say that gender equality is highly necessary to empower women.

Therefore Gender Equality is the first step towards women’s empowerment in Barbados. In this era of equal opportunities the NUPW Gender Affairs Committee would like to encourage the men of Barbados to grasp an understanding for the many roles and responsibilities women in Barbados are undertaking in the Public Sector, at home and 2 in our society and acknowledge that when seeking gender equality both (men and women) are responsible for seeing this to fruition. Women should also identify their strengths and abilities, and move towards a world of empowerment, while helping each other to reach their optimum potential in every task being undertaken on the path to self actualization. On this International Women’s Day, let us all promise to work towards building a better Public Service, and country by creating equal opportunities in the workforce and throughout society, while encouraging female empowerment through gender equality.

The Gender Affairs Committee endeavors to continue helping to provide a better working environment in the Public and Private Sectors in Barbados, where men and women can work harmoniously, and free of violence and discrimination, and where equal opportunities are available for all workers where together we can “Be Bold For Change.”

“No one can put you down without your permission,” Eleanor Roosevelt.

Makala Beckles-Jordan
NUPW’s Gender Affairs Committee

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