FREEPORT, GRAND BAHAMA – Hundreds of female senior high school students in Grand Bahama participated in the second annual Girl Con event on Tuesday.
The one-day seminar spearheaded by Senator Kay Smith is aimed at empowering young Bahamian females.
The event is aligned with the United Nations’ (UN) objectives of the 2030 agenda – namely gender equality and women empowerment.
Smith asserted that in 2018, women in The Bahamas are closer to achieving women’s rights and equality more than ever before.
It’s an effort that’s been hundreds of years in the making, but Smith said she’s prepared to play an active role in providing a platform for young Bahamian females to understand their value and importance in nation building.
“I want young women to be comfortable with themselves and to be confident. I want them to understand what their contribution means to this country. So, for me this is about preparing the next generation of future leaders,” Smith said.
Four panelists participated in this year’s event.
Janette Isaacs, Owner of Jemi Fitness; Kerel Pinder, Storyteller; Italia Williams-Wilson, Makeup Artist and Entrepreneur and Angelique Sabrina, International Bahamian singer and actress; who opened up publicly about how she overcame.
“I don’t know of a community that Bahamians have created, or a platform where we can come together as females, and really unite and encourage one another in an open dialogue where we can share experiences that others can relate to and hopefully take away the stigma from some of the topics that may be seen as taboo,” Sabrina said.
Pinder said, “A lot of times while growing up we feel as though if we plan everything right, then everything that we plan will happen, but that’s not true. You can plan and think that certain things will fall in line and it doesn’t always happen that way, so I want to talk to them about these things and the importance of being able to adapt to change.”
A few of the 250 female participants shared what they’ll remember most.
“It was very empowering and inspiring and motivating for a young woman like me who may not be sure about what she wants to do but can still learn from people like them in so many different areas,” said Daehah Johnson, a Girl Con participant.
“I feel very empowered because sometimes living in The Bahamas you don’t get as much exposure to different things and with these panelists being here it really provided us with some good information to help us in life,” said Amber Turner, another Girl Con participant.
Girl Con attendees also participated in an essay competition focused on gender equality.
The top three writers were presented with cash awards and will travel to New York in March 2019 to attend the UN Convention on the Elimination of all forms for Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) conference.
Smith said interest in the Girl Con event has grown tremendously and she thanked sponsors like the Island Luck (IL) Cares Foundation for its generous contribution.
“They supported us last year and they are on board this year and I am expecting that the IL Cares Foundation will continue to move along with us as we progress with this program,” Smith said.