Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Hon. Darren Henfield said The Bahamas continues in its objective of achieving gender equality for all. The Minister made the statement in a high level meeting during the sitting of the United Nations’ 25th anniversary of the fourth World Conference on Women. The meeting was held on Saturday, 26th September in New York. The theme for the meeting was “Accelerating the realization of gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls.”
“Over the past twenty-five years, we have witnessed the transformation of social, political, communal and economic infrastructure as a result of climate change, weather events, recessions, and now the global COVID-19 pandemic. The world is changing before our very eyes, at a speed that is incomprehensible. The Bahamas has weathered much, and remains standing, in love and service, fully committed towards achieving equality, empowerment and the advancement of women and girls,” said Minister Henfield. He said that National priorities remain aligned with the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, inclusive of increasing women’s ownership of land and businesses, strengthening laws that protect those most vulnerable, especially in the area of disability, promoting equal opportunities and fighting violence against women.
As it relates to institutional mechanisms for the advancement of women, the Minister said that the Department of Gender and Family Affairs serves to coordinate, advocate and inform policy for and on behalf of women and girls, and men and boys, ensuring a comprehensive and inclusive approach towards educational programmes and the implementation of international conventions to which we are a state party. “Our ten-year strategic plan, which is an inclusive National Equality Policy and Action Plan, has guided gender responsiveness in economic decisions, power and decision making, legislation and situations of violence,” he said.
“A new Plan will soon be formulated that will continue to promote a gender perspective in all policies, planning, and programmes in all sectors, as well as climate change, environmental and disaster management and food and nutrition security.” He explained that the Bahamian government has adopted a sensitive approach as it pertains to women in power and decision-making. “The Bahamas recognizes that political will is critical to effect systemic change within historical and contemporary structures of inequality and to eliminate barriers that impede access to resources and opportunities. In this regard, the Government has incorporated a gender sensitive approach.”
Finally, the Minister reiterated the Bahamas’ commitment to gender equality. “In this 25th Silver Anniversary, the Government of The Bahamas remains committed to the implementation and acceleration of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, which remains an invaluable resource for the full realization of gender equality and empowerment of women and girls as well as the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).”