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Building A Coordinated Position for Caribbean Negotiations on Beijing +25
The meeting brought together parliamentarians, ministers, representatives of national gender machineries, civil society, academic institutions and the private sector to discuss the issue of building a coordinated position for Caribbean negotiations on Beijing +25. The main aims of the meeting were to develop a shared understanding of some elements of achievements and challenges to negotiations, understanding the Beijing +25 processes and how the Caribbean can and should engage, reviewing the draft political declaration and identifying a common platform for negotiations.
The keynote address was delivered by Hon. Cynthia Forde, MP, Minister of People Empowerment and Elder Affairs.
Forde acknowledged that while there have been several changes since the Beijing meeting in 1995, she urged policymakers to renew their efforts for “bold, inclusive and intergenerational” actions in every sphere of life. “Our world is fast changing and when we reflect on 1995 and compare the massive changes between then and now, we must continue to plan purposefully as we witness the challenges across the world compared to then when we all met in China. Never in our wildest dreams, did we anticipate the femicide, domestic violence, deprivation of our girls from educational advancement and slavery in the massive proportions and the list goes on and on. There have indeed been some retrograde steps taken during that period that we never contemplated. These unfolding actions of discrimination, stigma and deprivation of women and girls, have really been a terrible backlash in our hard-fought battles but we must not renege on our responsibilities,” she remarked.
Minister Forde contended that the Beijing Platform and its twelve action areas comprise the most visionary agenda for women’s empowerment and still remain extremely relevant towards the achievement of true equality despite some of the challenges.
The two days yielded productive discussion between parliamentarians, representatives of national gender machineries, civil society, academic institutions and the private sector. Some key areas of focus included; issues of gender and development, bodily autonomy and sexual and reproductive health and rights, gender based violence and the changes involved from the shift from Beijing to Generation Equality’s Themes. These discussions were facilitated by Roberta Clarke and Dr. Asha Kambon.

Institute for Gender & Development Studies
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