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Marking 2021 International Women’s Day, CDB’s new Vice-President (Operations), Isaac Solomon noted that while there is much to celebrate, there is an urgent need to overcome the status quo.
As the world grapples with the Covid-19 pandemic, women stand on the frontline, comprising over 70% of health and social care workers globally. However, because of gender inequality, their contribution is often unrecognised and forgotten.
“We, at CDB, join the global community in honouring women’s invaluable contributions to social, economic, cultural and political advancements of their communities and countries, particularly in our Region. We salute you!”, said Solomon today at the opening of CDB’s International Women’s Day Roundtable “Women in leadership: achieving an equal future in a Covid-19 world”.
While women’s equal participation is lagging in leadership, decision-making roles in government and the private sector, women still carry the significant share of unpaid care and domestic work that is amplified even more within the pandemic. In addition, women and girls are facing massive gender-based violence in the Caribbean Region. A 2019 study by CDB and partners shows that 55% of women in five Borrowing Member Countries experienced at least one form of violence. According to UN Women, gender-based violence has intensified since the outbreak of the pandemic which resulted in a shadow pandemic.
Going forward, CDB is looking long-term at a green and inclusive recovery from the Covid-19 crisis that will have economic, environmental and social resilience at its core. CDB General Counsel Diana Wilson Patrick said: “CDB will continue to employ its Gender Marker Analysis Framework for examining the extent to which investment loans and technical assistance projects are gender mainstreamed, with provisions for including gender action plans within interventions, to ensure gender issues are addressed throughout the project cycle.”
Advancing gender equality, CDB Vice-President Solomon concluded: “CDB will strengthen its operations to break down barriers, change attitudes and build institutions to ensure that we all can benefit and contribute equally to our Caribbean’s future.”
At the CDB-organised roundtable, Hon. Marsha Caddle, Minister, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Investment, Barbados delivered a keynote speech. Chaneil Imoff, Public Relations Officer, Young Women in Leadership, Antigua and Barbuda, made remarks. Besides CDB General Counsel Diana Wilson Patrick, panellists of the roundtable were Hon. Hazel Brandy-Williams, Minister, Ministry of Health and Gender Affairs, Nevis; Pamela Coke-Hamilton, Executive Director, International Trade Centre; L. Nana Oye Hesse-Bayne, Board Member, Caribbean Institute for Women in Leadership; and Janeil Odle, Secretary, National United Society of the Blind, Barbados.