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On 11 July 2009, people around the world observed the 20th World Population Day in different ways; in Dominica the celebration was distinctively muted.

We lost an excellent opportunity to start to create meaningful change in the lives of our women but it’s never be too late to create a positive movement in relation to this.

The theme “Investing in our women and girls,” should have given the opportunity to several individuals and groups to highlight the accomplishments of outstanding women in their respective communities and at least create a start to a platform that would encourage better treatment for our girls and women, while a the same time challenging them to excel in various spheres of Caribbean living.

Investing in girls’ education delivers well-known returns. When girls are educated, they are more likely to earn higher wages and obtain better jobs, to have fewer and healthier children and to enjoy safer childbirth. Investing in women’s health, especially reproductive health, can not only save the lives of half a million mothers, but also unleash an estimated $15 billion in productivity each year.

It’s time for our decision-makers to begin protecting women’s ability to earn income, keep their daughters in school, and obtain reproductive health information and services, including voluntary family planning.

Together, let us empower women as highly productive members of society, capable of contributing to our country economic recovery and growth.

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