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Barbados gets mixed review in 2016 Caribbean HDR

Women living in Barbados and St Vincent and the Grenadines can expect a fairer shot at senior managerial jobs when compared to their counterparts in other Caribbean countries.

This is according to data contained in the latest Caribbean Human Development Report, released today by the United Nations Development Programme.

Entitled Multidimensional Progress: Human Resilience Beyond Income, the report, which was officially launched at the Hilton today, highlighted vulnerable sections of the region’s population, including women, the elderly, youth and indigenous people.

In his presentation of the report’s findings, lead author Professor Compton Bourne noted that “women are disadvantaged in the labour market, with lower level and lower paying jobs than men in the Caribbean.

Lead author of 2016 Caribbean HDR Professor Compton Bourne

Lead author of 2016 Caribbean HDR Professor Compton Bourne

“Although women head nearly half of the Caribbean households, the participation of women in senior managerial jobs is still limited to less than one quarter of these jobs in all researched Caribbean countries, with the exception of St Vincent and the Grenadines and Barbados,” he said.

The report also stated that Caribbean “women are more affected by unemployment than men, although the gap is reducing over time.

“Between 2000 and 2013, the labour force participation rate of women aged 15-64 increased by 2.2 per cent whilst that of men decreased by 2.5 per cent,” it said.

The report also acknowledged that gender differences remain large with 59.3 per cent of women in the labour force compared 78.7 per cent men.

However, Barbados did not fare so well in the arena of income inequality, as the country shared highest degrees of inequality with Haiti, The Bahamas and Antigua. However, the report noted that income inequality was on the decrease in Belize, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, St Kitts, St Lucia and St Vincent.

On a more positive note, Barbados currently has the second lowest mortality rate in the Caribbean, according to the latest available statistics.

UNDP administrator and keynote speaker Helen Clarke believes the report could inform future policymaking.

“This Caribbean Human Development report aims to contribute to policy debates in the region at this early stage of implementation of the 2030 agenda. The sustainable development goals call for a new generation of public policies which will build resilience and integrate the economic, social and environmental dimensions of policy, including on peace and justice,” she said. 

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