Press release

Ambassador for Women and Children’s Affairs Attends 10th Commonwealth Women Affairs Ministers meeting in Dhaka

July 4, 2013

Dr Erna Athanasius, Ambassador for Women & Children has represented Seychelles at the 10th Commonwealth Women Affairs Ministers Meeting (10WAMM) in Dhaka, Bangladesh, held from 17th to 19th June under the theme ‘Women’s Leadership for Enterprise’.

Dr. Athanasius described the meeting as an important opportunity for Seychelles to boost the local Gender Agenda and keep up to date on women’s affairs, not only in small and medium business enterprise but also in leading Corporate Boards. During the meeting, Seychelles’ delegation was considered extremely active as a member on the Drafting Committee of the ‘Dhaka Declaration’.

According to Dr Erna H. Athanasius these meetings were “a magnificent networking arena,” who added that she was inspired by the effort of Bangladesh where women are the forefront of many decision making processes in society.

The Ambassador was accompanied by Special Adviser for Social Affairs, Mrs Marie-Josee Bonne. A total 30 Commonwealth countries participated in the meeting which was jointly hosted by commonwealth countries participated in the meeting which was jointly hosted by the commonwealth and the government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh.

Just prior to the ministerial meeting, Mrs Bonne attended the 11th Meeting of the commonwealth Gender Plan of Action Monitoring Group (CGPMG) on 16th June, where the Group gave due consideration to its performance, governance and accountability especially with respect to the End of Term Review of the Plan Action for Gender Equality which is due to end in 2015. During the meeting, Commonwealth ministers and heads of delegations agreed on the need to maintain an accountability mechanism to ensure reporting of the POA. However, further work will take place on the terms of reference of the group.

The Ministers meeting itself was officially launched at the opening ceremony by Sheik Hasina, Prime Minister of Bangladesh, and daughter of the founding father of the Republic.