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BPW Dominica: Be Each Other’s Keepers in 2020

by: - January 2, 2020
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President of Business and Professional Women, Rhoda St,John

As we come to the end of yet another year, it gives us the opportunity to reflect on the year past and the year to come. We reminisce on  where  we  came  from,  what  we  have  done, where we are going and  what we have learnt as we  put a plan of action in place to achieve these goals .

As women we are the very backbones of society, we are often the decision- makers, bread-winners, mothers, housekeepers, teachers, business owners, etc.

Women are the most fundamental instrument in any civilized society, a symbol of growth and future. Embracing our roles within our various communities, promotes the development of every sector that make up our societies,  whether religious, financial, personal, or political, women play a major role.

As an organization, we advocate for women, youth and  children regardless of their age, therefore; I encourage all of us, as 2019 is coming to a close; to focus not on the past months but on the months ahead and how we as women and men alike can shape a positive and brighter future for ourselves and our communities.

Some may ask, do we really have a voice, and what can we do with that voice  to positively impact our societies? Who are our target s?  What can be heard from our voices? Is it noise, are sounding symbol or is it building tools to uplift others and place them at positions of ​influence , where  they  too  can  make  a  difference,  through  their  experiences,  character, attitude and actions ?

BPW Dominica  chapter operates on a small island that is very   much driven by politics and religion.  However, this does not stop us from reaching milestones such as Gender Equality.

We currently have eight women who will serve in parliament out of an eighteen – member cabinet of Ministers. Dominica has positioned itself to champion the cause and be one of the Caribbean islands that have broken the gender equality barrier and place women in the same bracket as men. This is also very apparent within our field of works where we have a number of women holding CEO positions at the top level cooperative s, businesses and firms.

Dominica deserves a ‘hats off’ and accolades for allowing their women equal opportunity, equal pay and equal rights as men to build and develop.

Dominica  has  come a long  way  from  the  ravages  of  Hurricane  Maria,  we  have  shown resilience,  stamina,  and  the  zeal  to  press  forward and  we  have  managed  to  bounce back quickly and persist to rebuild the country, thus continuing and improving its habitability.

As we enter 2020, we will continue to administer our mandate towards “Empowering Women to Realize the Sustainable Development Goals”. How will we contribute to this calling? We will achieve this goal by creating leaders out of our women, reaching them at their levels and working with them to understand and bring forth the many hidden gifts and abilities that they possess.

We shall continue to drive our women to accept themselves as precious treasures, priceless assets , strong willed , encouraging them to take a stand for what is right.  In 2020, much like  in 2019 , we  as  an  organization  will  continue  to  stand  up  against  violence  against women and children, violence of all forms, especially the trend of verbal abuse, as we have learnt that there is no truth to the saying “stick and stones may break my bones but words can do me no harm”. We have learnt that words do have power and can be the most violent form of abuse and the most difficult to cure.     So, in 2020 we as BPW Dominica say, “NO to violence of any kind against our women and children”.

As we stand in solidarity with our sisters across the region, it is our goal  to have the laws across  the  Caribbean  islands  amended, that  verbal  abuse  which  includes  slandering  of others character, be seen as a chargeable offence and punishable by law.  The rights and protection of our children both male and female is an alarming concern and more measures will be taken to fight on behalf of our children. We say ENOUGH IS ENOUGH we are STANDING UP and SPEAKING OUT.

So let’s break the silence, speak up for what is right, speak up for those who are too afraid to speak out for themselves. It is time that we learn to be each other’s’ keeper.  Blessed 2020 to all and let’s rally together as one family and stamp out all forms of violence within our region.

Cheers!! Here’s to a successful year ahead. Happy New Year!