CDB co-hosts Roundtable Discussion on Gender Equality with CARICOM, UN Women

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On October 31, the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) co-hosted a roundtable discussion in Barbados, “Partnerships for Gender Equality”, with UN Women and the Caribbean Community (CARICOM). The event was part of the agenda for UN Women Executive Director, Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka’s first visit to the Caribbean. The Roundtable took place at the United Nations House.

Patricia McKenzie, Vice-President (Operations), CDB was part of the discussion panel, which included Mlambo-Ngucka, Isiuwa Iyahen, UN Women Programme Specialist, Women’s Economic Empowerment, and Dr. Rosina Wiltshire, CARICOM Gender Justice Advocate.

“At CDB, gender equality is a cross-cutting theme, mainstreamed across all the Bank’s interventions,” McKenzie told attendees in her opening remarks. She also outlined how CDB has been working with other development partners, including UN Women, to help the Region make progress on achieving gender equality.

“We welcome our partnership with UN Women in piloting the National Prevalence Survey on Gender-Based Violence in Grenada,” she said. McKenzie noted that the data generated will inform policy dialogue on the causes of gender-based violence, and demonstrate its negative impacts on the Gross Domestic Product and the loss of human capital potential and productivity.

She also underscored the Bank’s commitment to building capacity in statistics across the Region, and its support for the CARICOM Action Plan for Statistics.  

The panel discussed the difference data can make on the path to ensuring gender equality for women and men.

“Data helps address the illusion of progress women have made,” noted Mlambo-Ngcukawhile highlighting that only 13 countries in the world have dedicated budgets for collecting gender statistics. “Without adequate data, there is simply no credible path to achieving the SDGs [Sustainable Development Goals],” she added.

In addition, the panel explored the topic of gender-responsive budgeting, with a specific focus on heavily indebted Small Island Developing States. They concluded their discussion by outlining the special contributions women can bring to the Caribbean’s efforts in achieving sustainable development.

The UN Women Executive Director’s visit focussed on the importance of human security and safety of women and girls in the Region.

Also in attendance from the CDB were Deidre Clarendon, Division Chief, Social Sector Division; Francine Charles, Gender Communications Consultant; Maria Ziegler, Operations Officer (Gender and Development); and Sueann Tannis, Head of Corporate Communications (Ag.).

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