Witu launches Status of Women Committee

POSTED: 06/24/13 11:59 AM

St. Maarten -On the occasion of its 40th anniversary, the Windward Islands Teachers Union has launched its Status of Women Committee. The setup of the committee is a requirement of the 24 member state Caribbean Union of Teachers, of which Witu is a member.

“A Status of Women Committee shall consider gender issues relating to the profession and recommend to the executive of the Cut, actions towards the sensitivity of gender issues in promotions and programs,” union president Claire Elshot said over the weekend.
Among its objectives are to sensitize male and female teachers on gender related issues, to train a core of women leaders in all teachers unions and to help them gain confidence in assuming leadership roles.

Elshot added that the new committee is also tasked with providing women teachers “with the necessary skills to conduct workshops, help women teachers develop the art of public speaking and regularize the Janet Clark Memorial Program.”

The latter is a bursary award program that is conducted for trainee teachers across the Region. The Cut has established strict guidelines for the functioning and effectiveness of the women’s committee and its all captured in a 7 point agenda. As Elshot elaborated on the work that the new committee will be undertaking, she was especially proud to speak on Witu’s vision for point number 6; the production of a series highlighting the achievements of women and girls.
In this regard, the union leader said that Witu will make use of International Women’s Day, on March 8, to release two documentaries on female pioneers in education.
Elshot mentioned that the governor, prime minister and education minister will all be asked to contribute to the content of the documentary.
In January, Elshot will observe her 20th anniversary as Witu president following consecutive terms. She will use this occasion to produce another documentary called “Women in the History of the Witu.”

“It is very good that we record our history because at a given moment, we know where we came from. But we also have to mark them so that we know where we are going,” the union leader said.
Vice president Coreen Vanputten said that Saturday’s activity was only “mini launch” for the committee.
On the new Status of Women Committee, Elshot serves as chairperson and is assisted by Silvy Ravernberg, Melissa Fleming and Travis Mcklurkin.


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