By Adia Wynter
Antiguan women are being given the opportunity to obtain training for roles of leadership and power in society.
Caribbean Women in Leadership (CIWiL) is a non-political organisation dedicated to tackling the gender gap in political positions and roles of leadership.
Board coordinator for CIWiL, L Nana Oye Hesse-Bayne, revealed yesterday that the organisation will be establishing a national chapter in Antigua and Barbuda, presenting an avenue for the training and strengthening of the nation’s women in order to fill decision-making positions.
“The new vision for CIWiL now is to have a national chapter where a group of women and men who are allies within the country advocate for transformation of women’s leadership. So, the national chapter functions as a subset of the regional board,” Hesse-Bayne said on Observer AM.
She further explained that the national chapter would be responsible for events, activities and research geared towards gender equality and transformational leadership from a human rights perspective, seeing as these topics are of major importance to the nation.
She said, “It is important that the voices of your citizenship are heard equally around decision making tables. You can’t only hear from one group… and so, when decisions are made and both men and women are present, you have a balanced view to make decisions.”
Meanwhile, Michaela Harris, creator of Her Shine Theory – a well-known women’s advocate community — shared her elation at having such an organisation take interest in and aid the expression of women’s voices.
“I think it is an amazing idea, actually. Sometimes, there is a lot that young women have to face, but they don’t necessarily always have an outlet to express what it is that they need to say, and sometimes because of that, their interests are not always represented in the best way,” she said.
“That is a part of the reason why we would have started Her Shine Theory, to create a resource pool for them to access the kind of people who could make their voices louder. So, I definitely think it would be a good move, because we need it.” Hesse-Bayne said that the national chapter will be open to all individuals willing to give back to the cause. Those who wish to join the chapter are urged to visit their website or email them at [email protected].