Former minister to speak at 5th Phenomenal Caribbean Women’s Symposium
November 15, 2013

Former minister to speak at 5th Phenomenal Caribbean Women’s Symposium

Barrister at law and former Minister of Culture René Baptiste will tell her life story at the fifth VF Inc Phenomenal Caribbean Women Symposium in Dominica on January 25, 2014.{{more}}

During a press conference on Wednesday, organizer Dr Valda Henry announced Baptiste’s place among three other speakers.

Henry, a Dominican, disclosed that the aim of the conference, which started in 2007, is to celebrate the success of Caribbean women and allow persons to tell their stories, so that they can inspire other women.

“There are so many persons within our own Dominica and within our region who have done great things, who have a story worth telling and who can inspire and encourage others,” the organizer said.

Henry observed that men often tell her that her conference is an outlet for women to put down men; however, she stressed that this was not the intention.

“Truly, it’s not about men bashing. It’s really about affirmation of our role,” she said.

“One of the things that we encourage and so it is included as part of the material…is an action plan. We encourage persons to develop an action plan to achieve their goals stage by stage, to reaffirm their role of women as healers of the nation and to establish a network of support and opportunities for women”.

In her remarks, Baptiste applauded Henry for giving women a chance to speak about their life experiences.

She stated that there are few Caribbean women, who share their stories.

“We are bombarded daily with stories of women from North America, women from Europe, women from the United Kingdom, but we know so little about women in the Caribbean,” Baptiste said.

Baptiste also revealed why she felt that it is important to share her experiences with others.

“The more I speak to young people…is the more that I realize that those of us who have this responsibility placed on us, to be put in positions of leadership, should in fact present our stories, which will be a source of motivation or a source of inspiration for many young women in the region,” she said.

“I think the phenomenal women’s conference presents this opportunity for young women and even other women who have already ‘made it’. It provides that venue for reaffirmation for what we have chosen to do with our lives”.

The other speakers include Rose Willock of Monsterrat, a cultural icon and radio personality for Radio Antilles, Olivia Douglas of Dominica, the mother of politician Ian Douglas and Neva Edwards, former speaker of the House in Dominica.

Henry has extended an invitation to Vincentian women to sign up and be a part of the event.

“It promises to be a great one and so we are inviting St Vincent and the Grenadines to support their very own, Miss René Baptiste,” she said.

Karen Hinds represented St Vincent and the Grenadines at the 2013 symposium.

The VF Inc Phenomenal Caribbean Women’s Symposium will be held in Dominica on January 25 at the Cabrits National Park, from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.