THE DEVELOPMENT OF GENDER AND DEVELOPMENT DESK
The declaration by the United Nations of 1975 as the International
Year of Women, followed by the UN Decade’s for Women (1976-1985)
catapulted governments of the Region in establishing Women’s Desk or
The voices of women’s organisations were raised in support of the
establishment of a women’s desk in the Region. Eventually, in 1978, a
Nutrition/Women’s Desk was established at the Caribbean Community
Secretariat with the aid of UNICEF.
Two years later, with funding from UNDP, an independent Women’s Desk
was established that sought to promote and implement policies and
programmes to improve the status of women within the Caribbean Community
through regular meetings of Ministers with responsibility for
The Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas provides for the establish[ment of]
policies and programmes to promote the development of youth and women in
the Community with a view to encouraging and enhancing their
participation in social, cultural, political and economic activities.
The Women’s Affairs programme is now known as the Gender and
Development sub-programme. It has come a long way from its humble start
in 1978. The regional Gender and Development Unit is now located in the
programme on Culture and Community Development in the Directorate of
Human and Social Development, following a recommendation from the
CARICOM Heads of Women’s/Gender Bureaux Meeting in September, 2002.
Gender along with culture and youth are recognized as cross-cutting
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