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Call to action in Barbados – “How can you champion gender equality?”

Roundtable discussion with Senator the Honourable Maxine McClean. Minister of Foreign Affairs.

Ms. Rose-Mary Reynolds and Christopher Brathwaite arriving at Barbados Parliament for morning meetings.

Ms. Rose-Mary Reynolds and Christopher Brathwaite, the winners at Parliament.

Town Hall meeting with High Commission staff.

While the advancement of women’s participation in social, economic, cultural and political avenues is happening in many places around the world, progress is slow.

Canada envisions a world where women and girls are valued and empowered, have control over their own lives, fully participate as decision-makers in their homes and societies, and contribute to and benefit from development and prosperity.

Spotlight local champions

The High Commission of Canada in Barbados used this year’s International Women’s Day, to spotlight local champions!

Launching a video competition called "Be High Commissioner for a Day,” people were asked to submit a 60-90 second video answering the question: “How can YOU champion Women’s Equality in the Caribbean"?

Ms. Rose-Mary Reynolds, 19 years old from Antigua and Barbuda was the winner of the competition.  Rose-Mary acknowledges that there’s work to do in the region in particular on domestic violence, sexual harassment in the workplace and under representation. Listen to her message.

Christopher Brathwaite, 16 years old from Barbados runner up claims the first thing to help fix a problem is being aware of the problem and that it’s time to stop listening to history and to also listen to ‘her’story. Listen to Christopher’s message.

Working together

Having been named as the winners in the competition, Ms. Reynolds and Mr. Brathwaite spent the day ‘shadowing’ as acting High Commissioner and Deputy High Commissioner.  
Together, they participated in a number of activities that focused on gender equality and women’s rights, including thoughtful discussions with the Honourable Maxine McClean, Minister of Foreign Affairs.  They also took part in a Town Hall meeting with all staff at the High Commission staff.

Ms. Reynolds plans to continue her work advocating for gender equality in her community of Antigua and Barbuda and through practising law and Mr. Brathwaite also plans to continue advocating for gender equality throughout his community in Barbados.

The High Commission plans to keep in touch with all of the contestants, to help grow a network of youth interested in advancing gender equality. The High Commission will hold this event again next year to continue to shine the spotlight on the voices of people wanting to make positive change in the community and to raise awareness of issues pertaining to gender equality.

Promoting change around the world

Gender equality is a human rights issue, essential to achieving prosperity, sustainable development, inclusive governance and accountability, social justice, peace, and security.

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