Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar of Trinidad and Tobago, will attend Commonwealth Day in Westminster Abbey, London, on Monday, March14. The theme of the Observance is “Women as Agents of Change.” Britain’s largest annual inter-faith gathering, the Observance will be attended by Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh, along with more than 1,000 school children.
Singer-songwriter and campaigner, Annie Lennox, will join speakers, including Zambian-born economist Dr. Dambisa Moyo, to draw attention to the achievements of women across the Commonwealth, while highlighting how much remains to be done to achieve true equality. Poet Laureate, Carol Ann Duffy will read a poem specially commissioned for the Observance, called “A Commonwealth Blessing for Girls.”
Description (from Commonwealth Foundation site): “Women as Agents of Change” celebrates women whose work has made a positive difference to the lives of others and emphasises the Commonwealth message that by investing in women and girls we can accelerate social, economic and political progress in our member states.
The theme echoes a major call from the 2009 Commonwealth People’s Forum in Trinidad and Tobago which highlighted “that gender equality is viewed not only as a goal in its own right, but also as a key factor in enhancing democracy and peace, eradicating poverty and violence against women, ensuring education for all, improving maternal health, reducing child mortality and combating HIV and AIDS.”
Coinciding with International Women’s Day’s centenary celebrations, the Commonwealth will herald the transformative role women can and do play in making a difference to the lives of others, as well as highlighting opportunities where more can be done to allow women and girls to reach their potential.
See Commonwealth Foundation information at http://www.commonwealthfoundation.com/Howwedeliver/Events/WomenasAgentsofChange
Also see useful links to commonwealth organizations and resources on women and development at http://www.womenasagentsofchange.org/useful-links/