To mark this year’s International Women’s Day theme of #BalanceforBetter – the Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC) celebrated and honoured the women of the company for their vital role in shaping and strengthening the business.
While there were games and inspirational entertainment, Sharon Armstrong-Mullah, Director of Corporate Services, urge the ladies of CXC that, “This day should be recognised as a significant day by all of us. It should be recognised as a day when we reflect on all that is happening around us and think about how we can help to make a difference. Let us all therefore encourage one another to make a concerted effort to challenge gender bias, thereby forging a more gender-balanced world in which equal rights and opportunities are provided for all. How do you plan to help make a difference? I urge you to embrace “Balance for Better” and make International Women’s Day your day, every day.”
Veteran theatre actress, radio broadcaster for ten years, creative advertising executive and the day’s key note speaker Peta Alleyne reminded the women of CXC about the role of women especially in Barbados who were for equality, were built smart and innovated for change.
She pointed out strong women of leadership like Shirley Chisholm, a Barbadian who became an American politician, educator, and author and the first black woman elected to the United States Congress, representing New York’s 12th congressional district for seven terms from 1969 to 1983 and who formally announced her presidential bid on January 25, 1972. She also highlighted [Dame] Billie Miller who was the island’s first woman barrister and appointed Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs in 1994, was also charged with the responsibility of Leader of the House of Assembly and MP for the constituency of the City of Bridgetown, headed the Ministry of Foreign Trade and was very active in the civic and non-governmental arena.
“These are people I started to idolise from a young age,” she said. “We had local leaders like [Dame] Olga Lope Seale who was an active leader in community work. We have [Dame] Maizie Barker-Welch – a tiny woman who was a teacher, an activist, a former Member of Parliament, looking after St Joseph and an avid promoter of women’s causes while raising four children.”
“We have so many women in politics, we are represented. We now have a female Prime Minister, Mia Amor Mottley. It’s an amazing world we live in but what can we do to make it better? First we have to acknowledge we belong here, we have to acknowledge we have a voice and we have to know how to use it correctly. But we also have to take some of the blame especially for the next generation and how we raise our children. Gender balance and gender equality means we have to raise our children right. Teach them the ways of these ladies of leadership, of strength, of class, of culture and of humility,” Alleyne urged.