The Caribbean Family Planning Affiliation  joins with women in the Caribbean and worldwide in celebrating International Women’s Day (IWD) with the #EmbraceEquity Campaign.  

This year’s theme #EmbraceEquity amplifies the voices of women speaking out against inequities and championing change around key issues that negatively impact women’s human rights. Gender justice and equity remains a struggle with many women and girls facing barriers to accessing sexual and reproductive health services and protection against gender-based violence.

 As a part of the  IWD campaign, women in the region have shared their views about the importance of gender equity for the Caribbean.

“Women and girls are experiencing some of the most severe impacts of climate change, particularly so in small island states. This amplifies existing gender inequalities such as gender based violence, child marriage, and job disparities, that pose unique threats to their health, and safety, limiting access to services and health care as well as increasing risks related to maternal and child health. Without equality we cannot adequately address this crisis. Gender equality is a human right and it is of essential importance for women and everyone in Caribbean society in order to ensure their safety, health, and livelihoods. Eugenia López Uribe, Regional Director, International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) Americas and the Caribbean 

 

“The journey toward gender equality is not straightforward, and gender equity is necessary to close the gap and get us there together. As the Caribbean region continues to battle with persistent gender inequalities, fairness dictates that strategies and measures be available to compensate for women’s historical and social disadvantages. Without these special measures, inequalities will continue to create unfair conditions for women and girls. Gender equity can help women overcome these barriers, achieve economic empowerment, enhance social protection, increase political participation, and reduce gender-based violence”. Shakey Cornwall, Project Manager, Caribbean SRHR Observatory and Executive Director, Grenada Planned Parenthood Association.

Gender equity requires a justice approach to  addressing inequalities with critical eyes for the multidimensional burdens that women bear. Sexual harassment, gender-based violence, lack of  access to sexual and reproductive healthcare and rights in addition to the gender pay-gap are all issues that must be prioritized by governments.  The justice approach aims to remove limitations on women’s abilities to access opportunities to better their lives, including social protection, healthcare, employment, education and recreation. 

The  Caribbean Family Planning Affiliation (CFPA)  stands in solidarity with all who struggle for a better Caribbean where women are celebrated, respected and recognized and where violence against women is eliminated.