Beverly Richards
News
March 8, 2022
NCW president calls for women to stand in solidarity

WOMEN ARE being called to show support for other women when witnessing instances of injustice.

The call came from Beverly Richards, the president of the National Council of Women (NCW), ahead of International Women’s Day celebrations today, which is being celebrated under the theme, #BreakTheBias.

“I would like to suggest that women must be more conscious of where they are and where they would like to go,” Richards said in an interview with SEARCHLIGHT yesterday afternoon.

To give meaning to her argument, the NCW president noted that women sometimes see other women being discriminated against but refuse to speak out about it because they are not the ones being faced with an issue.

She cautioned however, that instances of discrimination could happen to anyone and that persons must be mindful and take necessary action, regardless of the circumstances.

“You have to ask yourself, suppose it was me…?…Always stand up for women… and don’t stand up because someone might see you standing up, but stand because you want to and this is where you want to go,” Richards said.

International Women’s Day is observed annually on March 8 and is used to celebrate the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women.

It also calls for action to advance gender equality. The 2022 theme, #Break-TheBias asks the world to call out instances of bias against women in the workplace, at school and at home.

Richards told SEARCHLIGHT that respect — or lack of — continues to be a prevalent issue for women in society.

“Women are not respected as they should be in the society, knowing that they are the caregivers. They are the master of many jobs but they are not given that respect,” she said.

She also listed a disparity in wages and sexual harassment as other issues that continue to affect today’s women.

The National Council of Women focuses on advocacy, and develops projects geared towards the holistic development of women in St Vincent and the Grenadines.

Richards noted however, that many women organisations are faith based and interest in women’s groups on a whole, has dwindled over the years.

The president opined that the lack of interest can be due to a number of reasons, one of which involves the absence of remuneration.

She explained that being part of women organisations is voluntary and while there are projects that teach women skills to make a living, some are not willing to wait through the entire process.

Richards also noted that groups in SVG often collaborate with the ministry responsible for Gender Affairs, and that some become uninterested due to beliefs that collaboration with government entities will stifle the autonomy of civil groups.

For this years IWD celebrations Richards has called on women to be more focused on their goals, particularly since it may be easy to be misled by images on social media.

The president of the NCW also cautioned young girls to use the various social media platforms responsibly as their use of such chanels may be used as a deciding factor as to whether they are hired for a job.