Gender Inequality Remains Persistent in the Caribbean – CDB Report

A report published by the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB), has revealed that the Caribbean region continues to battle with persistent gender inequalities. The report, which is a compilation of data from 10 Caribbean countries, aims to provide a situational analysis of gender equality in the BMCs, to inform national budgeting, planning and programming. 

The 10 CDB Borrowing Member Countries (BMCs) surveyed were Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Montserrat, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia as well as St. Vincent and the Grenadines. In 2010 CDB provided resources to these BMCs to conduct Country Gender Assessments (CGAs), and a Synthesis Report was generated to highlight areas of gender inequality in the BMCs. 

Some of the inequalities highlighted in the CGA Synthesis Report 2016 are:

  • Occupational segregation with women tending to have lower-waged occupations in the economy and a lower female labour force participation. Higher educational achievements of girls does not yet translate in a higher participation in the labour market and closing of the wage gap.
  • A high proportion of female-headed households in poverty and with high dependency ratios.
  • Social isolation of elderly men.
  • Educational gaps at secondary and tertiary levels with mixed results for boys and girls. Drop out of boys increases the potential of deviance and anti-social behaviour. Drop outs of girls might be related to teenage pregnancies resulting in incomplete education.
  • Gender-based violence as being endemic among the researched countries. The Report reveals a predominance of male perpetrators (reported cases), women and girls as the vast majority of victims, and men and boys increasingly reporting gender-based violence. 

These gender inequalities do not only represent human rights issues, but are also serious constraints to economic growth and well-being in the Region. The data presented in the CGAs and the Synthesis Report can provide the basis for evidence-based policy-making to address some of these issues. 

In recognition of the diversity within the populations and communities of the BMCs surveyed, the CGA research process utilised a highly participatory approach, and provided opportunities for a wide cross-section of society to share their views. Each country surveyed took responsibility for the conduct of the assessment, as well as in defining strategies and policies to address gender inequality. 

CDB remains committed to enhancing gender equality in its BMCs. The Bank follows a multitrack strategy by gender mainstreaming all of its programmes, projects and strategies, in particular its Social and Economic Infrastructure interventions, and by designing and implementing gender-specific initiatives. CDB also facilitates interventions in areas such as gender capacity development of public institutions, measures to combat gender-based violence, empowering women economically through trade-related activities and changing occupational segregation with education programmes. A further area is the production of sex-disaggregated and gender data as well as of knowledge products like the CGAs. These measures are implemented in Partnership with and through policy dialogue with the Borrowing Member Countries, working together with other development partners.