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May 17, 2021
Women presiding officers of Caribbean parliaments exchange good practices for gender equality in the region

On May 17, ParlAmericas hosted a meeting of women presiding officers of Caribbean parliaments. More than half of the countries in the Anglophone Caribbean currently have a woman leading at least one of the chambers of their parliaments. The main objective of this meeting was to facilitate dialogue on the gender equality issues on national legislative agendas and strategies to advance collectively on issues of common concern. The presiding officers also explored how to further enhance the supportive ties among the community of parliamentary leaders.

The Honourable Bridgid Annisette-George (Trinidad and Tobago), Speaker of the House of Representatives and Vice-President of ParlAmericas, chaired the meeting and reflected that, “We must recognize and celebrate the positive contributions to our democracies made possible by advances in women’s political representation in CARICOM countries. Women have been positively impacting legislative agendas and decision-making, as exemplified by the women presiding officers gathered virtually today. We know that gender equality and women’s rights require not only our full attention as legislators and the active participation of our male colleagues; these objectives also require our solidarity and articulation across borders. Only with this wider support can we hope to fortify our efforts and spark greater momentum during the present challenging times.”

The Honourable Alincia Williams Grant (Antigua and Barbuda), President of the Senate and member of the ParlAmericas Board added, “The last year has not been easy. We have faced and overcome obstacles in the way we perform our jobs and in the way we reach out to our communities. Nevertheless, the critical importance of undertaking our functions in an inclusive way and with a focus on advancing women’s rights and gender equality has never been clearer. The pandemic has exacerbated and made visible existing inequalities, and we must do everything we can to eradicate these issues to the benefit of our entire populations.”

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