Mock CEDAW Session allows students to hear and present women's issues
By Felicity Ingraham
Oct 4, 2018 - 2:00:44 PM
Minister of Social Services and Community Development Frankie Campbell led a mock session of CEDAW (Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women) on Monday, inviting high schoolers and college students to attend and be updated on the Bahamas' progress. He presented to the students, along with other stakeholders, in the same fashion that he will present to the United Nations body when he leads a delegation to Geneva, Switzerland on October 21.
After giving his address, Minister Campbell fielded three questions each from UB students Tayte Adderley (media and journalism), Tinarge Moxey (law and criminal justice) and Shaquille Hanna (LLB Bachelors of Law). He then addressed questions from the scores of students who attended from schools like The Government High, CV Bethel, RM Bailey, Anatol Rogers and Akhepran International. The students' questions and comments touched on topics including the issue of nationality and the failed referendums; the treatment of the women who ran for the office of leaders of political parties and the inequality in the treatment of women in politics; the LGBTQI community, including gender roles and identity; how men will be affected and included; marital rape; sex workers and trafficking; inequality in the workplace and pay scales; and the education system.
Members of the CEDAW national committee were on hand to assist with responding to some of the questions and comments, as the team has been working on preparing the CEDAW report for the nation for many months. Committee members present included Senior Nursing Officer Sherry Armbrister, Kayla Smith of the Attorney General's office representing for committee member Jewel Major, senior officer of the Royal Bahamas Police Force Gabriella Pratt and Janet Mckenzie, and Director of Gender and Family Affairs Dr. Jacinta Higgs.
CEDAW requires states to implement policies and laws to end discrimination against women and to promote equality between the sexes. CEDAW addresses the civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights of women. The Bahamas Government signed an agreement to the convention in 1993. It was not until July 20, 2012 at the 52nd CEDAW session that The Bahamas presented and therefore submitted its first through fifth reports at that time. The Committee, in its concluding observations, recommended that The Bahamas take action to end harmful practices and gender stereotypes, violence against women, increase participation of women in political life, take steps to resolve nationality, education, health, family and marital issues. CEDAW convenes every four years, and Minister Campbell will present The Bahamas' sixth report.
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