#Nassau, October 30, 2018 – Bahamas – The Hon. Frankie Campbell, Minister of Social Services and Urban Development, called on the United Nations System to partner with The Commonwealth of The Bahamas in its quest to improve protection of the rights of women and girls.
“Allow me to also recall the number of challenges highlighted throughout today’s dialogue and to invite you and the United Nations System to partner with us through the provision of technical assistance in order to bolster our efforts in the protection of the rights of women and girls,” he said.
The following areas of interest for assistance were highlighted:
-training for members of the judiciary on CEDAW;
-strengthening the organizational capacity of civil society;
-harnessing the leadership achieved by women in public life toward sustainable avenues for women’s progress;
-implementation of the National Gender Policy and National Gender-Based Violence Plan;
-dis-aggregated data collection, analysis and reporting
Minister Campbell made the appeal at the closing session of the 71st Session of the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women [the Sixth Periodic State Report of The Bahamas under the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women] (CEDAW), Thursday, October 25, 2018. A Bahamian delegation represented The Bahamas at UN CEDAW, which is ongoing in Geneva, Switzerland, October 22 to November 9, 2018.
He expressed profound gratitude on behalf of The Government of The Bahamas for the opportunity to present to CEDAW an overview of its efforts in the implementation of CEDAW. He emphasized that the preparatory process for the review involved an “extensive” and “diverse” set of representatives across sectors of government and civil society including representatives from the differently-abled community.
Special thanks was extended to the Most Honourable Prime Minister, Dr. Hubert Minnis; the inter-sectorial CEDAW preparatory Task Force; previous Ministers of Social Services namely the Hon. Lanisha Rolle and Melanie Griffin; Gaynell Curry and Christine Campbell, former Directors; and UN entities; toMadam Dalia Leinarte, Chairperson; and the CEDAW Committee.
“Indeed, we hope to be able to report to you, at our next review, the additional progress made toward the full implementation of the CEDAW in the Commonwealth of The Bahamas. I also wish to reiterate my earlier invitation to you to come to The Bahamas to see, first hand, what we are doing.
“As I stated at the outset, the achievement of gender equality and the elimination of all forms of discrimination against women is a journey and not a destination. Nevertheless, I assure you that The Bahamas is fully committed to walking this important path with courage and with stamina,” said Minister Campbell.
In her concluding comments, Madam Leinarte thanked the experts for their questions and comments, and the State Party for the explanations and responses provided during the dialogue.
Header: Marion Bethel, the first female Bahamian expert CEDAW Committee member, is pictured with The Bahamas 2018 delegation to UN CEDAW. Also shown (front row) from left is Frank Davis, Charge d’Affaires, Deputy Permanent Representative, Geneva; Dr. Jacinta Higgs, Director and The Hon. Frankie Campbell, Minister of Social Services and Urban Development. Other members of the delegation are pictured along with NGO representatives.
First Insert: Pictured from left: The Hon. Frankie Campbell, Minister of Social Services and Urban Development; Dr. Jacinta Higgs, Director, Gender and Family Affairs, Jewel Major, Chief Counsel, the Office of the Attorney General and Ministry of Legal Affairs; Sharmaine Sinclair, Assistant Director, Ministry of Education. Back row: Celsus Williams, Assistant Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Alicia Gibson, Assistant Counsel, Office of the Attorney General and Ministry of Legal Affairs.
Second Insert: The Hon. Frankie Campbell, Minister of Social Services and Urban Development, is pictured with staff of the Department of Gender and Family Affairs and representatives from local non-governmental organizations in attendance at UN CEDAW 2018. From left: Melvelyn Symonette, First Assistant Secretary; Virginia Campbell, Pilot Club of Nassau and civil society Bahamas; Alicia Wallace, Equality Bahamas; Minister Campbell, Noelle Nicolls, Bahamas Crisis Centre; Dr. Jacinta Higgs, Director; and Erin Green, Rights Bahamas.