Women’s day Message

| 07/03/2014

The 2014 theme for International Women’s Day (IWD) is ‘Inspiring Change’, and we are pleased that on this day and indeed throughout Honouring Women Month the women of the Cayman Islands will be given many opportunities to participate in events that aim to encourage and inspire growth and change in all areas of their lives.

There is an old proverb that states “The only constant is change.” 

And while we know that to be true, how often do we embrace change when it unexpectedly comes into our lives? Or do we often resist change, sometimes to our own detriment?  While change can be difficult, there are many unforeseen gifts that are often wrapped in the guise of change.

International Women's Day provides us the opportunity to celebrate the social, political and economic achievements of women while at the same time focusing the world’s attention on areas requiring further action.  We don’t have to look too far back in our history to see how life has changed not only for Caymanian women but for women all aroundthe world. From increased representation in politics and in boardrooms to breaking gender barriers as role models and leaders in traditionally male dominated occupations, women have made positive advances towards gender equality.  However, there is still room for improvement in order to address the gender issues in many areas such as earned income, non-communicable diseases, HIV- transmission and gender-based violence.

On behalf of the Government, I take this opportunity to commend the Ministry of Community Affairs and my Ministry, in particular the dedicated staff of the Family Resource Centre and the Gender Affairs Unit, who work not just during Honouring Women Month but on a daily basis assisting women during difficult periods of change or crisis; empowering girls, women, young parents and families with information and education; and promoting gender equality in our society.

On 8th March, 2014 thousands of events are held throughout the world to inspire women and celebrate achievements.  In the Cayman Islands, not only do we have an event planned in recognition of International Women’s Day, but there are a wide range of activities scheduled throughout the month of March as well.  On International Women’s Day, the public and private sectors will come together to create an event called the Wellness of Women (WOW) Expo which will be held at the ARC at Camana Bay. The purpose of the event is to provide participants with the opportunity to focus on their own self-care and inspire change from the inside out. We encourage girls and women to make the time to attend the free classes and demonstrations, and access the information that will be available from a wide range of government agencies, businesses, faith-based, community and non-profit organisations.

Another way in which Government is actively seeking to address women’s equality issues is through the recent request to the United Kingdom to have the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) extended to the Cayman Islands. The request is a reflection of the Government’s commitment to ensuring equality between women and men and promoting a culture of human rights in our islands. CEDAW is the only core international human rights treaty that Government has yet to sign onto, and we anticipate a positive response from the UK to be forthcoming.

The ‘Inspiring Change’ theme encourages advocacy for women's advancement everywhere in every way. To that end, the Ministry of Education, Employment and Gender Affairs will be hosting a National Conference on Women on 29th March that will bring together women and men of differing ages and cultural backgrounds to address the social, cultural, economic and political challenges that girls and women experience in the Cayman Islands. The intended outcomes of this empowerment conference are to bring awareness about the rights to which girls and women are entitled under CEDAW; establish priority issues that will assist

Government in the development of its implementation plan for CEDAW; and create a space in which to educate, inspire and empower girls and women to be ‘Architects of Change’ at a personal level and within society.

With the advancement of technology and social media, corporate responsibility initiatives, and supportive men willing to speak out on these issues, everyone can be an advocate to inspire change for women's advancement.  Indeed a collective effort is necessary when striving towards gender equality, and the collective benefits that it yields are suitably reflected in the United Nations’ IWD slogan: “Equality for women is progress for all”. Let us all do our part to inspire change within ourselves and others to ensure that the future for our girls is bright, safe, rewarding and valued as equally as our boys.

Category: Viewpoint

Comments (18)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    How can we achieve equality with simple mindness?
    If you don’t suppport the message or her, express it else where.
    Be glad that it is not only men running the government because once upon a time will women had no rights anx now that we do, understand that we do not have magic which is a myth

  2. Anonymous says:

    Okay, is there something here that people want from Ms. Rivers that she is not giving them? Or is this another case of "jealousy" within our own? Why cannot we support each other? These comments wreak of jealousy and unfounded angst and seems like a group of people got together and will always get together and bash Ms. Rivers no matter what she has to say! They all somehow seem ignoramous to say the least.

    Kudos to you Tara, cause it seems you have some people stirred up for no apparent reason, but that is always jealousy… no one is jealous of you unless you have something they want.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Is there a point to Tara? 

  4. Fred the Piemaker says:

    Yeah right!  politician so scared of the public that she absents herself from sensitive votes is going to stand up for CEDAW and rights to abortion and sexual free expression.  Cold day in hell, Ms Rivers.  You are a grave disappointment to those who thought you a modern Caymanian woman  prepared to make a real change.  Reduced to pro forma speeches and op eds probably written for you by others.  You used to work for a top London law firm.  Whatever happened to the energy, intellect and commitment you must have had to do that job?  Sad.  

  5. Anonymous says:

    But what's for dinner luv?

  6. Dreadlock Holmes says:

    Here's a change for you. Instead of pussy footing around the topic- enact a minimum wage. So the women you pretend to care about can live in dignity without having to work 2 jobs at $hit wages to pay the bills. But you wouldn't know about that you're a well paid MLA.

    Nice speech though. Keep up the good work.

  7. Anonymous says:



    Want "change", want woman to be respected…  Then stand with the big boys and vote, rather than sticking your head in a hole.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Tara can sure talk up a pile of horse*+!?#.  You need to be docked for not doing your job.  As a matter of fact you need to be removed from Govt!  People I hope you don't make the same mistake twice!

  9. John Evans says:

    Having seen the real International Woman's Day as a journalist working in the Soviet Union in the early 1990s I'm always amused by this kind of pseudo-socialist interpretation of the celebration in the West.

    It was (and probably still is) fundamentally a happy family event, if you like an extension of the concept of Mothers' Day but encompassing all women and involved giving gifts, candy or flowers, to family members, lovers and even co-workers. In Red Square couples walked hand in hand with the women carrying flowers given as a token of love. In homes meals were prepared and families got together. It was fun, a rare non-political family event. Even my regular taxi driver took the day off so I gave him a bag of sweets and chocolates for his family.  

    Over 20 years ago what I saw was a shift away from this kind of BS to a genuine appreciation of the role women play in society and it's a real shame that we still have politicians who haven't got that message.

     

  10. Anonymous says:

    MINIMUM WAGE PLEASE ! ! ! !

  11. Anonymous says:

    The 2014 theme for International Women’s Day (IWD) is ‘Inspiring Change’, and we are pleased that on this day and indeed throughout Honouring Women Month the women of the Cayman Islands will be given many opportunities to participate in events that aim to encourage and inspire growth and change in all areas of their lives.  For example I was given the opportunity to vote at the LA on the OMOV motion.  Who would pass up that chance, given my electoral promises?  Well I did ladies and I did it for every one of the women of the Cayman Islands.

    There is an old proverb that states “The only constant is change.”  There is another proverb that says "Never believe the promises of someone who wants to get elected".  Well we know that to be true.

    We encourage girls and women to make the time to attend the free classes and demonstrations.  Maybe one day you can attend "classes" when you "study" by being an employee at a major London law firm.  The intended outcomes of this empowerment conference are to bring awareness about me and the rights to which girls and women are entitled and then, like me, you can choose to not exercise those rights by missing key political votes.  “Equality for women is progress for all”. Let us all do our part to inspire change within ourselves and others to ensure that the future for our girls is bright, safe, rewarding and valued as equally as our boys, and maybe in the future children of today can be as disappointing in government office as I am.

  12. Anonymous says:

    How do these speech writers come up with so many words that say nothing?  Nothing inspiring,

    Nothing that anyone will remember beyond tomorrow

  13. Coconutz says:

    Gosh Ms. Rivers, haven't you realized by now that your words are meaningless. People have figured out by now that you're just another career politician, à la Big Mac, Little Mac, Captain Stubing, et al. whose words are less than worthless.  So please, stop with your little lectures that aim to impress the illiterates and bring about some meaningful change that benefits the community at large.  And next time you think about writing an "inspirational" essay, if it is your essay at all, go heavier on the inspirational and lighter on the boring (bragging as to what government is doing) – because right now, government is doing very little, has done very little, and will most likely continue to do very little.  What the Cayman Islands require is an infusion of new ideas, new blood, etc. not the same old UDP, PPP, SVP, DMC, and WC.  Just a thought…

    Co co co Coconutz Co co co Coconutz

  14. Anonymous says:

    Nice slogans.  We are not stupid.  But we would prefer an explanation as to why you were too cowardly to attend the LA for the OMOV vote.  The silence is deafening.

  15. Anonymous says:

    Well, Ms Rivers, all very well for you to want change, it is certainly overdue! But, the the most necessary change of all is to move in the direction of democracy!

    You were one of those that shirked your responsibility when that change was possible, so to me at least, you have a credibility issue, however necessary your current campaign may be.

    Reap what you sow!