“For Such a Time as This”

anguillian
By anguillian April 18, 2014 09:20 Updated

 

 

by Ronya Foy Connor, Gender Development Coordinator

by Ronya Foy Connor, Gender Development Coordinator

Welcome to the sixth in our series of bi-weekly columns under the title “The Gender Corner,” published in collaboration with The Anguillian newspaper. Through this publication we hope to provide thought-provoking and stimulating discussion on gender-related matters. This week we explore why a Gender Affairs Unit is needed at this moment in furthering national development.

Why gender affairs and why now? This is a question that each of us should be asking. We know that on an international level, gender equality and gender mainstreaming in policies and law are an increasing focus. In many countries, a comprehensive gender lens is used to develop a national plan of action for economic growth. In other countries, such as Brazil, gender is a focus for ending discrimination and stigma in healthcare. And in a country such as Lebanon, the focus is on lobbying for a domestic violence bill that even recognizes physical assault as a form of violence.

These are challenging times for global equality. So it is only fair to ask, why gender affairs in Anguilla, and why now? In short, we have not come to this point by chance, but rather by assignment. We have individual and collective power and strength, but we are a hurt generation. I see, hear and feel this personally through the conversations that I have with individuals: young and old, male and female.
Living in us and among us is a sense of loss of self because of the variety of circumstances that life brings. If we may talk honestly and openly, we have each faced our own set of “less than perfect circumstances.” We have been beaten, abused, impoverished, emotionally shattered from broken homes, damaged from broken families, molested, raped, and confined to a place of drought, salt less dry earth, with seemingly little chance of rejuvenation. If you say, “no, that’s not me” then you don’t understand the connectedness and collective responsibility that is the core of positive development. Yes, your hurt is my hurt and your improvement is partly my responsibility no matter who you are.

Now is the time to focus on healing the hurt. For such a time as this, we must focus on the human family of Anguilla – bypassing past hurts and working jointly as a national family. Heart scars are some of the hardest to heal, but now is the time for healing. It is time for each of us to stand up and say that gender affairs are an integral part of us. It is in fact our livelihood. If we are progressing to a place of restoration, we will learn, we will teach, we will build and we will establish Anguilla strong. For such a time as this, there is no time for complacency or complaints.
There is a Gender Affairs Unit in place that is exclusively, primarily, regularly and wholeheartedly focused on educating and motivating you to live beyond negative circumstances – physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually.
As we celebrate Easter this week, we have a prime example of what it means to overcome adversity, insults, violation of your body, and to not just be triumphant, but to create renewed purpose for generations to come. Jesus is our example and is, in fact, our model of the vision that we should hold dear. That vision is to love one another so deeply and so expansively that equality is deep-rooted in all of our affairs. We can each continue the work to maximize the potential of every boy, girl, woman and man to build our nation strong.

We still invite your feedback and input starting right now. We want to hear about each and every one of your activities, events, or group conversations related to gender norms and the promotion of equality. If you would like the Gender Affairs Unit to speak at an event, or if you would simply like to speak privately about a pressing matter, contact Ronya Foy Connor, Gender Development Coordinator, Ministry of Home Affairs, The Valley, or Ronya.Foy-Connor@gov.ai. Please feel free to call us anytime at 497-2518.

anguillian
By anguillian April 18, 2014 09:20 Updated

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