JAMAICA | Vaz commits to re-energizing Jamaica’s participation in the Inter-American Commission of Women (CIM)

JAMAICA | Vaz commits to re-energizing Jamaica’s participation in the Inter-American Commission of Women (CIM)

WASHINGTON DC, April 11, 2022 - Member of Parliament for East Portland Mrs Annmarie Vaz has committed to re-energizing Jamaica’s participation in the Inter-American Commission of Women (CIM) and to engage bipartisan women’s support to advance issues affecting Jamaican women in relation to the organization's programmes.

The commitment came as a result of a meeting between Mrs Vaz and the Executive Secretary of the Inter-American Commission of Women (CIM), Ms. Alejandra Mora Mora, at the organization's offices in Washington DC.

Mrs. Vaz welcomed the opportunity for discussions and expressed her desire to work with the CIM. She informed the meeting that Jamaica’s parliament now boasted 29 percent women and that she wanted to capitalize on this fact to ensure that women and girls recognized that they too can achieve their goals.

Ms. Mora Mora used the opportunity to inform Mrs. Vaz of the Commission’s work on the issue of parity which she noted had not been institutionalized in the Caribbean.   She also advised that the goal was to ensure equal participation of women and men (50/50) in decision-making positions in the public and private sectors, from the international to the local level.

Ms. Mora Mora noted that as she moves forward, she would be engaging parliamentarians to ensure parity, and took the opportunity to congratulate Jamaica on the passing of the sexual harassment bill.

Mrs. Vaz welcomed the issue of parity but advised that she was not supportive of established quotas. She explained that while she wishes for women to be given greater opportunities, she believed there was value in having qualifications and the better person ought to get the job. She emphasized that decisions ought not to be based on gender.

Mrs. Vaz expressed her commitment to assisting with the parity issues, highlighting her own story of a woman who after raising her family, was able to begin her journey as a politician.  She noted that she was focused on encouraging others to achieve their own goals without fear of limitations no matter the stage of their lives.

Mrs Vaz also welcomed the issue of care, reacting to the CIM’s  recent publication of the COVID-19 in Women’s Lives: Findings and recommendations on the care emergency, which explores the situation of caregiving, the progress achieved, the challenges identified, the priorities established, and offers recommendations.

Mrs. Solitahe Odlum, a specialist at the CIM, explained the organization’s operational structure which included delegates from each country, pointing out that  Jamaica’s delegate was the Head of the Bureau of Women’s Affairs.

She also noted that Jamaica was not as active in CIM as in previous years, noting that although CIM had pioneered a lot of issues and initiatives in the Caribbean, regrettably, the Organisation had not been as endowed financially as other organisations. She also pointed to the fact that CIM was now pioneering care as a parity issue in the Caribbean.

It was against this background that Mrs. Vaz committed to re-energizing Jamaica’s participation in the CIM and to engage bipartisan women’s support to advance the parity issue.

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