The Ministry of Equality and the Gibraltar Garrison Library’s fireside chat to mark International Women’s Day attracted a full audience last night. The main focus was ‘Where are the Women of Gibraltar?’ which aimed to explore the historic and current under-representation of women.
The event, which was over-subscribed, was opened by the Minister for Equality, the Hon Samantha Sacramento MP, and moderated by Adriana Lopez. The evening began with presentations before the audience were invited to actively participate in an open discussion.
Dr Jennifer Ballantine Perera, the Director of the Gibraltar Garrison Library, contextualized the impact of socio-historic factors on the cultural norms that fix perceptions of women and their place in society, the reverberations of which remain present today. Marlene Dalli, the Ministry of Equality’s Policy Development Officer, explored the current under-representation of women and the consequences of this. Questions from the audience were then invited before the discussion evolved naturally into an open conversation amongst attendees during the networking session afterwards.
Dr Jennifer Ballantine Perera, said: “This has been a wonderfully inclusive gathering and such a good way to kick start future International Women’s Day events during this month. A key aspect of our event is that we are looking to collect data on a range of equality issues. The aim is to bring about change through a greater understanding of how we as a society feel about these important questions.”
Minister for Equality, the Hon Samantha Sacramento MP, said: “I am impressed by the response to this event which shows that there is a huge appetite for these discussions. The launch of a series of such fireside chats was planned before COVID-19 and I am extremely pleased that we have been able to pick this up again. Not only was the event over-subscribed within 48 hours of announcing it but there was also fantastic engagement by the attendees who ensured that the discussion was both meaningful and insightful. It is, of course, very important to mark and celebrate International Women’s Day but it is equally important to ensure that there are substantive outcomes and that we are actively moving towards gender parity in a number of areas. I am very happy to have worked in partnership with the Garrison Library and particularly with Dr Ballentine that this is the first of a series of fireside chats which will serve to keep the conversation going but, more importantly, will inform the ongoing work we undertake at the Ministry of Equality”.