BPW President Defends Gender Equality Statement

by: - January 23, 2020
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President of the Dominica Chapter of Business and Professional Women, Rhoda St John said recently that “Dominica does not have an issue with gender equality…”

She issued the following statement on Thursday supporting her argument.


January 23, 2020

“GENDER EQUALITY – equality between men and women does not mean that women and men have to become the same, but that their rights, responsibilities and opportunities will not depend on whether they were born male or female.

GENDER EQUITY – fairness of treatment for men and women according to their respective needs. These may include equal treatment or treatment that is different but which is considered equivalent in terms of rights, benefits, obligations, and opportunities.” – United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESDOC).


In layman terms, Gender Equality is equal opportunity, responsibility and rights whereas Gender Equity is how these people are treated according to their individual needs.


In a recent Meet and Greet Event, organized by the Business and Professional Women – Dominica Chapter, the association’s President; Rhoda St John quoted: “In Dominica, we do not have an issue where gender equality is concerned”.

In accordance to the aforementioned statement by the UN, who is a partner to BPW International, Dominica does not have an issue where gender equality is concerned.


We have many women Chief Executive Officers, women in parliament, women in government, and women in many jobs which society depicts as a male ‘job’. By Oxford definition, the word ‘JOB’ has seven meanings, it is not exclusive to ‘work that someone does regularly to earn a living.’ This means that, Dominica in comparison to other countries in the world, even in our region, is doing quite an exemplary job at pushing and breaking the boundaries of Gender Equality. Our precious country is prolific in creating successful women and offering equal opportunities to both males and females.

“Even in our schools, once efficiently qualified, anyone regardless of age, gender, socio-economic bracket etc can be appointed. For instance, at one of our Secondary Schools on the island, the head of the Technical Department is a woman and the head of the English Department is a man. Our society, sadly to say is one that is based on, in colloquial terms ‘pull-string’ rather than of patriarchy. There are many women who drive tractors, operate backhoes, climbs electrical poles and do the same jobs that are usually male-dominated. We have a lot of women in different sectors in society and it is time that we give them a platform where they can develop their skills, abilities and show off the qualities”, said St. John.


In 2013, Dr. Rawwida Baksh, who is a Regional Gender Specialist Consultant commended Dominica on its commitment to advance and develop our gender policy.


“This puts Dominica at the forefront of national gender policy initiative in the Caribbean … being way ahead of many other Caribbean countries, some larger than Dominica for example my own country Trinidad and Tobago, Barbados, Suriname, and others,” she stated while at a one-day consultation hosted at the Fort Young Hotel.


(Statistical evidence by Dr. Baksh Country Gender Assessment 2014) – PUBLIC DISCLOSURE AUTHORISED


Gender Equity is quantifiable. Without up-to-date statistical evidence it not logical to make a comment on a topic that can be so easily kept quiet. Yes, it is easy to see both genders receiving equal opportunity, but how easy is it to see the unfair treatment that happens mostly behind closed doors?


For further updates on this topic visit: Dominica