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100-Woman Forum for International Women’s Day

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Contact: Julita Peter

Tuesday, March 8, 2005 - The AIDS Action Foundation is spearheading the program of activities in observance of International Women’s Day, which is being observed today. The program of activities opened with the 100-Women Forum at the Bay Gardens Inn on Monday, under the distinguished patronage of Dr. Rose-Marie Belle Antoine. Dr Antoine, wife of Prime Minister Dr. Kenny Anthony spoke on the topic “Women as Catalysts of Change in HIV/AIDS Prevention”.

Board Member of the AIDS Action Foundation, Barbara Jacobs–Small said, “The strategy we employed was to invite employers with the help of the St. Lucia Chamber of Commerce to nominate up to five women; we stipulated that it had to be women so that they can come together. Out of this activity, the intention is that these women who in many instances probably do not know each other, would get an opportunity to sit and discuss issues that traditionally have been very taboo, and they would come and discuss without any inhibitions or discomfort”.

She added that the ultimate objective of the 100-Woman Forum was to empower the participants to deploy them back into their homes, workplaces and society to effect change. The forum addressed several issues, such as stigma, discrimination, empowerment, and the rights of HIV/AIDS victims.

The program of activities for the observance of International Women’s Day will focus on the World AIDS Campaign 2004-2005, Women, Girls, HIV and AIDS. This programme seeks to raise awareness of and help address the many HIV related issues affecting women and girls.

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