A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was signed yesterday between the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) and the United Nations Women to strengthen initiatives aimed at reducing gender inequality.
The MOU was signed during the 39th Community Council of Ministers meeting held at the CARICOM Secretariat, Turkeyen.
Secretary General of CARICOM, Ambassador Irwin LaRocque, said that the support from UN Women is significant given the challenges faced by the Community, particularly on issues relating to gender.
“It is particularly significant for us given that challenges with financial resources have hampered us in our quest to fill a number of crucial positions including in the area of gender,” Ambassador LaRocque noted.
The two-year MOU will see the UN Women providing assistance in:
– enhancing Caribbean wide data, statistics and analysis on the implementation of the gender dimensions of the Sustainable Development Goals and the SAMOA Pathway
– ensuring that there is a Caricom wide voice in the normative process shaping national levels of sustainable development as it relates to gender equality
– deepening capacities of the Caricom member states to implement the international, regional and national commitment such as the convention on the elimination of all forms of discrimination against women and the Beijing Platform for Action to advance gender equality and the empowerment of women.
The support will be key in addressing inequalities such as gender-based violence in CARICOM states. In the Caribbean, it is estimated that 30 to 50 percent of all murders are a result of intimate partner violence.
Representative of UN Women, Tonni Ann Brodber pointed out that Caribbean states cannot afford the cost of gender inequality.
“What we are seeing is something that we cannot afford anymore. Not just the gender-based violence, but the fact that we are not tapping into the potential of our young boys or our young women,” Brodber said.
The UN Women representative congratulated CARICOM for taking the lead in the Region to address gender inequality. “We will support in every way that we can, to ensure that this is not just something that is theoretical but it is a lived reality that the women and men of the CARICOM feel,” Brodber pledged on behalf of UN Women.
The MOU will also go towards strengthening the work of the CARICOM Regional Gender programme and the CARICOM Regional Statistics programme.
The Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) has provided a grant of US$500,000 towards the development and implementation of a gender-sensitive CARICOM results-based management system.
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