Cooperative Enterprise seeks to empower women during Cooperatives Week 2010
The Bureau of Gender Affairs has described a National Cooperative Conference held on July 7th, as one step towards the implementation of a national policy on gender quality and equity on the island.
The one-day conference was convened by the Ministry of Social Services, Community Development and Gender Affairs, spearheaded by the Cooperative Division, as part of activities marking cooperative week 2010.
The week will be observed from July 3rd to 9th under the theme ‘cooperative enterprise empowers women’. Mrs Rosie Brown of the Bureau of Gender Affairs said that her ministry is pleased to be association with the conference.
“In fact I consider this the beginning of some small step toward a more giant move to implement the national policy on gender equity and equality, an action plan for Dominica which was adopted by the Government in June of 2006. The policy advocates for a gender perspective in all government programs and plans. It is also an opportunity for me here to collaborate on other region wide observance namely, the ‘year of women of the Americas’ which was officially declared here in Dominica by the Honorable Minister Gloria shillingford on International Women’s Day on March 8th” said Brown.
One of the key objectives of the conference is to develop a clear and common understanding of the future potential vision and direction of the local cooperative movement. Parliamentary representative for the Roseau Central constituency, Honorable Norris Prevost believes that the cooperative movement can be used as a medium to bring economic development to the island.
“The cooperative movement can be probably one of the best tools that’s available to Dominica today to revitalize our economy, especially to revitalize our agriculture as well as to give impetus to the services sector and to rebuild our small business sector. The cooperative approach is probably the approach with the most potential,” said Prevost.
The conference is also aimed at facilitating dialogue on critical issues pertinent to the continued growth and development of cooperative enterprises and to develop and adopt recommendations and strategies in finding alternative solutions to these critical issues. Minister responsible for Environment, Natural Resources, Physical Panning and Fisheries Honorable Kenenth Darroux said that while donor efforts are now dwindling due to the global financial crisis, the Government of Dominica continues to take active measure to sustain the cooperative movement, especially in fisheries.
“We have entrusted the movement by sometimes placing large amounts of money in their hands for the implementation of projects such as structural development of their facilities or procurement of much-needed equipment. More recently, we have seen the installation of a number of petro filling stations for fisherfolks under the Petro Caribe agreement and the management of these stations have been entrusted with the respective fisheries cooperatives. Thus, this government would like to underscore the need for us to come together as a people irrespective of our social, political or educational background and personal ideology. And in this troubled financial times, the need do exist for us to pull our resources to work together to build our beloved country” said Darroux.
Honorable Johnson Drigo represented the Prime Minister at the ceremony.
“Dominica has experienced growth and development as a result of the economic activities of cooperatives. Cooperatives are democratically owned and governed enterprises guided by the values of self responsibility, democracy, equity and solidarity. Simply, cooperatives put people first,” said Drigo.
Other activities marking cooperative week include the registration of Pure Blossom Hive group on July 8th at the Public Service Training Center from 5pm, delivery of food items to the Grotto Home and the Dominica Infirmary on July 8th and a fish and pork festival at Mahaut on Friday, July 9th.