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International Women’s Day Highlights Global Call for Gender Equity

Community 08 Mar, 2023 Follow News

International Women’s Day Highlights Global Call for Gender Equity

Every year on March 8 governments and civil society across the globe celebrate the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women as part of International Women’s Day (IWD). The first IWD gathering took place in 1911, then supported by over a million people, making this a commemoration that has been taking place for well over 100 years.

Along with the commemoration of women’s many contributions, IWD is also a day that marks a call for action for accelerating women’s equality and equity. The 2023 theme this year’s IWD, which the Family Resource Centre has adopted for the entire month, is #EmbraceEquity.

“For a long time, the marker for progress- both nationally and within different organisations like the Civil Service- has been equality,” explains Mr. Franz Manderson, Deputy Governor. “However, the wonderful thing about progress is that it demands that we aim higher, meaning that those markers change. Unlike equality, which looks at simply making things equal, equity recognises that each person has different circumstances, and allocates the exact opportunities and resources needed for each individual to be successful.”

Equity-based solutions take into account the diverse lived experiences of individuals and communities, adapting services and policies according to these differences. Equity is a long-term and sustainable solution, and is a process for addressing imbalanced social systems.

“Equity requires commitment, determination, power, resources and social responsibility,” adds Premier and Minister for Gender Affairs, Hon. Wayne Panton JP, MP. “To achieve it, Government, civil society, communities and families must work together to change structures and provide opportunities to those who are marginalised.”

“In order for our community to not only fully embrace this year’s IWD theme, but also to understand what equity looks like not solely as a concept, but also in its real-life application,” explains Ms. Judith Seymour, Director of the Department of Counselling Services. “As part of their full calendar of events for the month, the Family Resource Centre has engaged an equity consultant to deliver not only the keynote address at this year’s IWD breakfast, but also to lead an experiential workshop for professionals and leaders in both the public and private sector to help take the discussion of equity to the next level,” she adds.

Ms. Desiree Phillips is a Registered Psychotherapist, senior trainer, and equity consultant. She will be delivering the keynote address at the FRC’s IWD breakfast event No Two Paths Alike: Understanding Identity in Women’s’ Equity, which will highlight the unique journeys of women of various intersecting identities within Cayman and the ways in which individuals can practice empathy, inclusion, and equity in their personal and professional interactions with women in their spaces.

Ms. Phillips will also be providing a more experiential workshop for professionals and leaders in the public and private sector entitled Setting the Stage for Equity, on Monday March 13th. Participants at this smaller event will examine the concepts of oppression, privilege and intersectionality in order to broaden perspectives and understand the compounding and interconnected nature of oppression as it unfolds for both staff and community members. Strategies for translating this knowledge into practical action will also be discussed.

“These events, and this entire campaign, isn’t just for women. When we speak of equity, and gender equity, it is something that impacts all of us, but often times we don’t connect the dots for people to understand that” explains Ms. Anne-Marie Diaz, Programme Coordinator for the FRC. “Gender equity includes how fathers parent their children, how a female leader addresses her team complement, how a recruitment officer operates inclusively, how we educate and empower girls and boys, and so much more. It’s our individual responsibility to recognise one another’s individual needs in the various spheres and spaces we operate and can have direct influence over. This is what #EmbraceEquity is all about. We’re fortunate to host Honouring Women Month to raise these issues, because only with a concerted effort will gender equality be achieved in the Cayman Islands”, Ms. Diaz highlights.

To register for the events email frc@gov.ky or contact 949-0006. For the full Honouring Women Month calendar log on to www.frc.gov.ky or follow them on Facebook and Instagram.

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