The Government of The Commonwealth of The Bahamas has partnered with many of the country’s non-governmental organizations (NGOs) as it continues to build alliances for social protection systems, access to public services and sustainable infrastructure for gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls. Addressing a High-level Interactive Dialogue among Ministers on the priority theme: “Building Alliances for Social Protection Systems, Access to Public Services and Sustainable Infrastructure for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women and Girls”, Minister Campbell told delegates that proof of the Government’s commitment to building those alliances/partnerships lay in the fact in the size of the Bahamian delegation to the Sixty-Third Session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW63), many of whom paid their own way to attend the Session.
“I have the pleasure, Mr. Chair, of leading a delegation from The Bahamas of almost 90 women and this is by no accident, this is as a result of the Government of The Commonwealth of The Bahamas recognizing in the first instance, that we cannot do it alone and so we have partnered with non-governmental groups, faith-based organizations, trade unions, the Bahamas Red Cross, the Crisis Centre, advocates for persons with disabilities, schools, universities, victims advocate groups, political groupings, and other minority groups, to ensure that we have the support of carrying the message of mindsets that need to be changed. ”Minister Campbell said Small Island Developing States (SIDS) can be “very political” in their approaches, oftentimes leading to a point where a good message can be overlooked “depending on who is bringing the message.”
“And so through these partnerships, we are satisfied that we are able to have a whole broad cross-section of persons bringing the message. We are also of the realization that when the table is set, either you are sitting at the table or you are on the table as the menu. We want to ensure that our women and girls are being prepared to sit at the table to ensure that their voices are heard and their views are considered, and so a part of this delegation that I am pleased to lead includes at least 15 per cent of persons under 30 years of age. “These persons have come to see and hear for themselves, that they are able to go back and personally represent the movement throughout the communities; that they are able to influence their various age groups. We are satisfied that this is about partnerships, but not just with women (but) partnerships also with both men and boys. Partnerships that will satisfy the men and the boys that there is no threat to their position and that the women need to be prepared to hold hands with them as they advance.”
Minister Campbell utilized a mathematical formula when solving equations to further drive home his point.“Whatever you do on one side, in order to get the balance you must do it on the other side,” Minister Campbell said to a rousing round of applause from delegates. “And so I am pleased to say that as we focus on the women and girls, we want to bring our men and boys along.”