Categorized | National News

13th WAMM Encourages Global Liberation of Women

Journal Staff Writer

The 13 th Commonwealth Women’s Affairs Ministers Meeting (WAMM) is now in the history
books as the meeting wrapped up last Wednesday evening at the Atlantis resort.
During the three days, 56 countries made of small island states and Small Island Developing
States discussed equality towards a common future for women and girls.
Minister of Social Services and Urban Development Obie Wilchcombe said these meetings are
the first step towards change in the world.
“It was so informative. We learned the commonalities. We learned the common issues that we
face and we heard recommendations. How do we get beyond one thing that was very clear to us
all is that we need a global effort to make a difference,” Wilchcombe said.
“If we can, in fact, cause that to happen, we can make the changes required and cause the true
liberation of women in the global community.
“The objective is to ensure that we get to that place where women globally are liberated. Where
women with disabilities are treated equally as any other person. Where women and girls don’t
have to worry about the violence.
“What do we do and how do we do it? We have to think about women in business taking
leadership roles, not only in politics, because we have a tendency to believe it’s just politics. It’s
women in business. Globally, it’s women in trade.
“In fact, we heard some statistics today about women in trade. And then we heard some
wonderful initiatives from the Commonwealth Secretary that we are going to adopt and we’re
going to bring into fruition here in the Bahamas.”
Secretary General of the Commonwealth of Nations Patricia Scotland congratulated the country
on an amazing meeting which she said every Bahamian should be proud of.
She went on to laminate commitments made in the meetings by all countries.
“How you build gender sensitive policies?” she said. “How do you implement gender
appropriate responses and the Commonwealth have produced a number of training materials and
templates, toolkits, in order to assist our member states?
“We’ve also created an assessment, the economic assessment, for domestic violence to help our
member states. And we’ve created the Commonwealth Climate Finance Access Hub to try and
get money into the hands of our member states in a way that will make the difference.

“And with just $6 million, the Commonwealth has already delivered $310 million into the hands
of our member states and there’s another $500 million in the pipeline.”
When asked when the public can see the results of the meeting come to fruition, the secretary
general said the work is beginning from now.
“Well, the roadmap is now being populated,” the secretary general explained. “We’re looking at
the needs of all of our countries [and] doing an audit of what they already have.
“And then doing a gap analysis to say, ‘okay, this is what you need, this is what you have, how
do we fill the gaps, and by when.’
“So, we will want to report to Commonwealth Heads of Government every two years. The
Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting takes place every two years and the next
Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting is going to be in October in Samoa in the Pacific.
“So, we will be preparing a roadmap from now until October 2024 and we’ll look at all the four
headings that we’ve identified and then look at what we can realistically deliver by way of
improvements between now and then.
“So, it’s quite a short period because we’re talking about one year. So, we will be looking at three
months, six months, nine months, 12 months. Looking at the fact that we’ve made a commitment
in the secretariat to equalize the law.”
The next WAMM is anticipated to take place in one of the countries in the commonwealth Asian
Region but until then The Bahamas will remain the chair.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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