Members of an Advance Team from the Commonwealth Secretariat recently paid a Courtesy Call on Minister of Social Services and Urban Development, the Hon. Obadiah H. Wilchcombe, prior to meeting with members of the country’s National Task Force as part of a Planning Mission ahead of the 13th Commonwealth Women’s Affairs Ministers Meeting (13thWAMM) scheduled for August 21-23 in New Providence.
During their stay, the Advance Team meets with the local organizing team to develop a theme, in addition to making concrete decisions on several agenda items for 13thWAMM.
The planning mission is designed to establish contact between the Secretariat and the National Task Force to review the structure, draft agenda and possible outcomes of the WAMM, and to review operational matters — including a review of proposed meeting venues and accommodations, in addition to transportation, security and accreditation.
First held in 1985, the Commonwealth Women’s Affairs Ministers Meeting, has been held triennially (every three years) since and provides the opportunity for Ministers, Senior Government Officials, civil society and private sector and partner agencies to explore and agree on workable strategies and solutions to gender disparities.
Officials at the Commonwealth Secretariat say the Meetings have: “provided strategic opportunities for Ministers, Senior Government Officials, Civil Society Organizations and partner agencies to discuss critical issues in advancing women’s empowerment and gender equality, and to contribute to the Commonwealth and global agenda-setting processes.”
WAMM: “Also allows for the sharing of experiences and progress, the setting of new targets, strategies and actions and the strengthening and forging of partnerships.”
Discussions at the 13th WAMM are expected to centre on accelerating Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment for Sustainable Development, more leadership position for women in both public and private sectors, more political engagement at all levels, greater economic and entrepreneurial opportunities, and further strides “towards creating a world where the eradication of Gender-based violence is truly a reality.”
By MATT MAURA/Bahamas Information Services
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