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WOMEN OF AFRICAN DESCENT IN THE COMMONWEALTH CARIBBEAN: PAST STRUGGLES and PRESENT CONDITIONS Dalea Bean . 1 Anglophone Caribbean Demographics . 2 Women in politics . Source Inter-Parliamentary Union December 2010. Child malnutrition indictors by sex.

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2 women in politics
2 Women in politics

Source Inter-Parliamentary Union December 2010.

child malnutrition indictors by sex
Child malnutrition indictors by sex

Source: Women and Men in the Caribbean Community: Facts and Figures, 1980-2001,CARICOM Secretariat, Georgetown, Guyana, 2003. This information was taken from Women’s Indicators and Statistics Database, Version

4 overview of challenges
4: Overview of challenges
  • Challenges that remain which hamper the full attainment of gender equity and equality in the Anglophone Caribbean.
    • Poverty: Women continue to be the main victims of economic and social disadvantage, expressed in the higher numbers of women living in poverty;
    • Education: In spite of educational achievements in favour of Caribbean women at secondary and tertiary level, this has not translated into the expected social and economic benefits for women;
    • Politics: Women continue to be underrepresented in the political process, and at all levels of decision-making, although there have been some moderate changes;
    • Employment: Women are segregated in the labour market in low paying jobs, particularly in the services sector in the Caribbean and are found in larger numbers than men in the informal sector of the economy, where they continue to be denied access to the benefits of social security and other social protection;
    • Unpaid work: Women continue to have greater responsibility for the care of family members and household tasks and therefore face greater constraints than men in terms of the amount of time and effort they can put into paid employment and productive work;
5 positive steps
5: Positive Steps
  • Throughout the Caribbean, the ratio for secondary education is more in favour of females, where more girls than boys are enrolled. This phenomenon is a general trend that can be detected in most Caribbean countries.
  • Specific governments in the region have worked towards:
    • 1. Promoting equal access to education by providing universal secondary education for all boys and girls.
    • 2. Promoting non-traditional training for women by implementing non-traditional training programmes.
    • 3. Retraining and skilling poor women to facilitate their productive employment and income generating ability through Adult Education Programmes.
  • In addition, all Caribbean governments are signatories to the CEDAW Convention, the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) Programme for Action and the Millennium Development Goals. It is this type of intra-region and cross-national collaboration that must continue to push for the empowerment of women in multiple fields – social, economic, as well as political.