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April 27, 2022
ParlAmericas participated in the workshop “Leadership for Good Governance and Social Transformation in the Caribbean” hosted by the Commonwealth Secretariat, Caribbean Women in Leadership, and UN Women Caribbean

ParlAmericas participated in the workshop “Leadership for Good Governance and Social Transformation in the Caribbean,” organized by the Commonwealth Secretariat, Caribbean Women in Leadership (CIWiL), and the UN Women Multi-Country Office for the Caribbean on April 25-27, 2022, in Bridgetown, Barbados.

The workshop brought together parliamentarians, ministers, gender specialists, activists, and dignitaries from across the Caribbean to discuss women’s empowerment and transformational leadership.

Following the official inauguration on April 25, an opening panel set the stage for the workshop discussions. Alisha Todd, Director General of ParlAmericas, took part in the session and in her remarks affirmed the importance of transformational leadership and how ParlAmericas supports parliaments in fostering women’s political empowerment. She noted that: “Without a doubt, the crises that we face today globally – which are compounded in various ways as experienced in Caribbean countries – require bold, feminist, and transformational leadership, from women and from men alike. This is simply a foundation of good governance – and it looks like: leaders recognizing a society’s differentiated needs, championing policies with equity at their core, and actioning political commitments to leave no one behind.”

The workshop then featured a series of thematic sessions addressing topics such as gender equality, leadership and post COVID-19 recovery; good governance and transformational leadership; gender analyses in parliamentary functions; and successful approaches in challenging barriers to political leadership.

In a session titled “Utilizing Parliamentary Processes to ensure Gender Equality” held on April 26, Eilish Elliott, ParlAmericas Project Manager – Gender Equality, presented strategies to apply a gender lens in parliamentary processes. She stated that, “By applying a gender lens in the drafting or review of any legislation, motion, budget, or other matter that comes before you – because every topic has a gender angle and will differently impact your constituents – every intervention you make and question you pose presents an opportunity to put gender equality on the agenda, contribute to more inclusive outcomes, and strengthen your representation of constituents.”

On April 27, the final day of the workshop, Senator Natalie Campbell-Rodriques (Jamaica), Vice-President for the Caribbean of the ParlAmericas Parliamentary Network for Gender Equality, moderated the session “Successful Approaches in Challenging Barriers to Political Leadership.” This session also included a presentation by Senator Gregory Nicholls (Barbados) on the role of male parliamentarians as champions for women’s leadership and gender equality. Parliamentarians interested in further guidance on this topic may wish to consult the “Men as Allies for Gender Equality” toolkit available on the ParlAmericas and UN Women Caribbean portal ParlGenderTools, an online resource hub designed to support parliamentarians in applying a gender lens to parliamentary initiatives.

For ParlAmericas, this multi-stakeholder meeting was an important opportunity to reconvene with partners in-person on crucial issues related to promoting women’s political empowerment in the Caribbean since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. The work undertaken in this area by ParlAmericas is done in collaboration with women’s organizations like CIWiL, thanks to the generous support of the Government of Canada through Global Affairs Canada and its commitment to the advancement of gender equality in the Caribbean and more widely across the hemisphere.