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Delegates of the International Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA), led by their International President Grand Bahama resident Jethlyn Burrows, paid a courtesy call on the Minister of State in the Office of the Prime Minister, Grand Bahama, Senator the Hon. J. Kwasi Thompson, on Monday, November 13. Over 200 delegates are expected on island for their 36th Triennial Conference at the Grand Lucayan from today to November 17. The convention is being held under the theme, “The Economic Empowerment of Women and Children in an Evolving World.” During the courtesy call, Minister Thompson welcomed the guests to Grand Bahama and said that while he knows they will have a successful convention, he hopes they will enjoy some of what Grand Bahama has to offer. FIDA, organized in 1944, is a non-profit, non-governmental organisation in consultative status with the United Nations. The organisation functions to promote the principles and aims of the United Nations in legal and social aspects, as well as to promote friendly international relations and the welfare of women and children. Also present during the courtesy call were: Senate President, the Hon. Katherine Forbes-Smith, who is expected to address the convention on Wednesday; Senator Jasmine Turner-Dareus; and Acting Permanent Secretary OPM, Grand Bahama, Harcourt Brown.



A one-day conference geared towards Grade 12 females, Girl Con 2017, will highlight ‘National Women’s Week,’ November 26 to December 2 under the theme “Strong Women – Strong Families – Strong Communities.” During a press conference on Monday at the Office of the Prime Minister, Grand Bahama, Senate President, the Hon. Katherine Forbes-Smith, said the Girls Conference will be held on November 28, from 9:30 a.m. to noon, at Keen I Media Centre, on Cromwell and Sergeant Major Drive.
With 15 young ladies from the 10 high schools on the island expected to be in attendance, the attendees will hear from five panellists: Rev. Marie Roach-Hepburn; Senator Jasmine Turner-Dareus; Gia Pierre, playwright and author; Lynda Wells, photographer and Eldri Ferguson-Mackey, business. “We’ve asked these five women to speak at this event, but speak in a very different manner. They’re going to tell their personal stories about some of the things that really has been both negative and positive, in terms of their success and their career.” Senator Smith continued, “We feel that these young girls… 12th grade students from the 10 high schools -- will be very much uplifted by what these women have to say. It is really surprising, when you talk to these women, some of the barriers that they surpassed to be successful today.” Two of the panelists, successful artists, have been chosen so that young women can see that they can be successful in the arts, Mrs. Smith further explained.

Another event geared towards inspiring the young ladies will be an essay competition, again for 12th graders, under the theme, “Why females make strong families – strong communities.” Prizes for the top three finalists include cash and electronics. First place winner will receive $750; second place, $500 and the third place winner will receive $250. The winner of the competition will also be expected to deliver her essay during Girl Con 2017. Yvonne Ward of the Ministry of Education, said the Ministry is excited about the event and they want the 12th grade students involved “because we feel they are the next generation of leaders. We expect you to pick up the mantle and ensure that our rights and privileges continue. We expect that through education. Essays, she said, should be submitted by 5:00 p.m. on November 24. They should be placed in a sealed envelope and addressed to Patrice Johnson, Department of Social Services, Sun Plaza. Pakesia Parker-Edgecombe, Parliamentary Secretary of Information and Communications in the Office of the Prime Minister, said “I think that it’s important that, as women, we continue to come together. Oftentimes, society has a way of pitting us against each other and rather than supporting each other, we’re always joining in that. I think this conference not only shows a group of professional women and community leaders coming together, but also lets our young girls know that we can achieve much if we just support one another, and this is going to be doing that at this conference.”
Mrs. Parker-Edgecombe thanked Senator Smith, the brainchild behind the event, and said that if women would just support each other, much would be accomplished.
Mrs. Ward urged the young ladies and principals to support these events. Also present during the press conference were: Senator Jasmine Turner-Dareus; Patrice Johnson, Department of Social Services; Donna Laing-Jones; and Kiarra Jones.



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