Representatives from the more than 35 non-governmental organizations (NGOS) that attended the first week of the Sixty-Third Session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW63) began returning to The Bahamas on Thursday. Minister of Social Services and Urban Development, the Hon. Frankie A. Campbell said the large turn-out – the majority of whom facilitated their own travel and accommodations to CSW63 – was a result of the Ministry’s and the Department of Gender and Family Affairs’ “strong commitment” to maintaining old partnerships while welcoming and facilitating new ones.
“I think it is as a result of our strong commitment to our partnerships that we were able to get such a huge delegation to pay for themselves or find independent financing to come and be present,” Minister Campbell said. “It also shows that they too are interested in forging international partnerships.“ This active participation in CSW63 will enable them to be able to carry on with the programmes that will help assist us with the mind change that is necessary to bring about this empowerment of women and girls; this protection of women and girls; this reduction of gender-based violence, in particular and violence totally,” Minister Campbell said.
“I would like to thank the representatives of the NGOs for their participation in CSW63. They attended many of the Side Events and that enabled them to receive first-hand information on the many aspects of the Commission on the Status of Women, its functions and what many of the issues are. Many of them also accompanied me to the Opening Session of CSW63 on Monday (March11), and to the General Discussions (Tuesday, March 12 and Wednesday, March 13) at which time I delivered the CARICOM Statement in the first instance, and The Bahamas’ National Statement in the second.“In continuation of our partnership, we have agreed to compile and share all of the information coming out of the Side Events and in cases where there are recordings available, to get copies of those recordings in order to share the information, share the knowledge, with our other stakeholders.
“It is important that they see and hear that the things we are talking about locally in The Bahamas, are not just local issues, but that they are international issues and that we are a part of an international community with shared challenges so we can come together to share some best practices in order to bring about resolution to our concerns.”Minister Campbell said the contingent featured a diverse group of persons and groupings: “because I have come to realize that this movement, this goal of empowering women and girls, of gender equality, and the movement towards reducing gender-based violence – actually all forms of violence – is all about the change of a mind-set.”
“I also realize that when you talk about changing people’s minds, depending on who you are and what you represent, people sometimes do not pay attention to what you are saying and so the whole question of partnerships is most valuable in this instance because once you partner with a broad, cross-section, there must be someone in your alliance who can reach various groups, various sectors, thus resulting in your message reaching every crack and crevice and giving you the greater likelihood of wide success,” Minister Campbell added.CSW63 will continue into next week before reaching its conclusion on March 22, 2019, at the United Nations Headquarters, New York, United States of America.