Finally! A Gender Socialization Workshop in Dominica

Ms. Melena Fontaine, Acting Chief Education Officer in the Ministry of Education and Human Resource Development

Ms. Melena Fontaine, Acting Chief Education Officer in the Ministry of Education and Human Resource Development

Gender socialization has long been an issue in Dominica and by extension the wider region.

Monday, December 9th 2013, began a two day regional workshop on Gender Socialization for Early Childhood Development Practitioners in a move to increase access and provide quality within the field of Early Childhood Development.

Ms. Melena Fontaine, Acting Chief Education Officer in the Ministry of Education and Human Resource Development, says a focus on access and quality has seen the progress of several successful initiatives geared at promoting Early Childhood Development.

Ms. Fontaine noted in some parts of the world being born a girl is often synonymous to a life of discrimination and challenges.

Therefore, this workshop presents an opportunity to reflect and examine where we are as a Caribbean nation in relation to gender equality.

attendants of the Workshop

attendants of the Workshop

Honourable Petter St. Jean, Minister of Education and Human Resource Development speaking at the workshop, highlighted that a once noted culture of togetherness has been replaced with a culture of individualism and endless stereotypes from child birth through to adulthood.

Unfortunately, in many instances, children are no longer seen as treasures to be honed and cherished but as objects for adults’ desires for wealth and tools in war and trade.

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Mr. St. Jean says that society has evolved so rapidly that we now have to teach our children coping strategies to adjust to the emerging issues in a world that is plagued by the egos of adults.

“…where adults justify every controversial action under the cover of freedom of expression”, he continued

This he believes has contributed to the challenges that children face just to fit in within a society, hostile to maintaining and preserving the innocence of children.

The workshop is hosted in collaboration with the Basic Needs Trust Fund Programme (BNTF) and the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB).

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