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Call For Wage Law

By Albert Branford, in The Nation, Monday 14 August 2000

PRESIDENT of the National Organisation of Women (NOW), Nalita Gadjadhar wants to see the re-introduction of National Minimum Wage legislation which died on the dissolution of Parliament in January 1999.

The Private Members Bill had been tabled two years ago by Dr. Richie Haynes, leader of the National Democratic Party (NDP) of which Gadjadhar is a leading member.

Gadjadhar, one of three women who were featured speakers, issued the challenge to the Democratic Labour Party yesterday, the second day of its 45th annual conference at the its George Street headquarters.

"Two years or so ago, we met with members of this party and members of the other two political parties,"she recalled,"and we presented a women's agenda which we hoped would have been included in the parties' manifestoes."

She said the NDP's proposal seemed to have tri-party support in the debate.

"I challenge your organisation to move beyond the support and the call for its introduction and bring it again before the House as was done before as a Private Members' Bill. After all, you have two members there, one who can propose and one who can second."

Addressing the theme of the conference: Women: Strength Of The Nation, Gadjadhar, while praising the party for courage in focussing on the outstanding contributions women made to the development of Barbados, was cautious because of the lip service paid to women and their achievements.

The head of the 8 000-strong NOW urged Government to implement the Beijing Declaration with the general acceptance of women's rights as human rights which Barbados has signed.