Bridgetown, Barbados, 09 March 2021 (PAHO) – International Women's Day (IWD) is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating gender parity.
The COVID-19 pandemic is making this year’s International Women’s Day like no other as the response to the pandemic heightened pressure on health systems which impacts a majority female work force. The Pan American Health Organization, this year, is making a call to support women’s central and essential roles in responding to the pandemic within the health sector.
In many ways, women have suffered disproportionately from the pandemic. But women have also been at the forefront of the response. Women battle against COVID-19, as front-line and health sector workers, as scientists, doctors, and caregivers. In Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean, we have very strong women health leaders, who have contributed enormously to turn around the pandemic and save lives with positive results.
The PAHO Office for Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean Countries have highlighted some of the most efficient and exemplary leaders in the health sectors across the Eastern Caribbean, not only who led the responses to the COVID-19 pandemic, but women who over the years have shown strong stewardship to improving the health care system.
Countries in Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean Countries planned a variety of activities: Saint Vincent and the Grenadines joined the international community under the theme “Women in leadership: Achieving an equal future in a COVID-19 world" this included a social media campaign highlighting female front-line workers in the health and security sectors during the COVID19 pandemic under the sub-theme “Salute to the Capeless Sheroes”. Anguilla celebrated Women's Week during 7th - 13th March, under the theme "Leading Ladies: Born to Cherish” and Barbados distributed care packages to women and girls.