Women in Barbados have made significant progress in every sphere of endeavour, according to the Minister of People Empowerment and Elder Affairs (MPEA), Kirk Humphrey.
Mr Humphrey added the Mia Mottley Administration recognises Digital literacy and innovation must address both access and affordability to achieve gender parity.
He also pointed out to the global assembly some of the initiatives Barbados is pursuing…
- Our Bureau of Gender Affairs together with UN Women are in the process of launching a Gender Equality Communications Campaign to raise awareness of gender mainstreaming which would target both the private and public sector as well as Members of Parliament, Civil Society and the general public.
- Our Ministry of Education established a mentoring programme entitled Girls Power-Tech Barbados 2018 for girls between ages of 13 to 14 which provide opportunities for girls to enter into careers in STEM (Science Technology Engineering & Mathematics).
- During COVID 19, the Mottley Administration together with the private sector provided computer devices to all students who did not have access to devices for online and virtual learning.
- The government continued the Community Technology Programme which targets the most marginalised communities but particularly women and girls who traditionally would not have had access to computer training and technology.
- In 2016 Barbados enacted a revised Domestic Violence Legislation which adopted a zero-tolerance approach to gender-based violence in all its forms. The legislation expanded on the definition of gender-based violence to include harassment and stalking online and in digital spaces.
- Barbados has sought to reduce digital inequalities and enhance the economic empowerment of women through a process of issuing indigenous micro loans known as Trust Loans to persons who are unable to obtain financing from established financial institutions. Furthermore, through our Fund Access Programme small businesses owned by women have been equipped with the technological skills necessary to compete in a digital environment.
- To allow for greater access to digital spaces for women and girls the Government of Barbados has provided free Wi-Fi access in our capital city of Bridgetown.
The MPEA Minister and Permanent Secretary Jehu Wiltshire were attending the fifth plenary meeting, on the Commission on the Status of Women, Sixty-seventh session (CSW67).