Aruba, where women lead

The Renaissance Convention Center hosted the 9th annual Women’s Conference on March 8th, 2019, on International Women’s Day, organized by GOA, themed Achieving Balance.

I listened to the streaming. Setar, we can do better.

And compliments to emcee Sandra Croes, who did a good job.

The MinFec was up first. I enjoyed listening to her, she is a good speaker, feisty and humorous. I used to cringe over her winded parliament diatribes from the opposition benches, but now as a minister she doesn’t repeat herself as much, and her content is straightforward; she is not afraid to show her real self, and her jokes are real.

I enjoyed the one where she was almost late to her son’s school because DOW closed all roads.

When talking about herself and her efforts to achieve balance between office duties and personal life, this single mother of one – she is now separated from her husband she explained, spoke compassionately about her ailing mother, and the need to be available.

She revealed she sings and dances to unwind, in the morning hours — no time for the gym.  

The only thing I did not see happening was going to the beach weekends.

This woman has no time for the beach, but if she had gone, I would have gladly hung out with her over a bottle of wine.   

So that takes care of the MinFec, she definitely grew on me. She has a tough road ahead.

The MinPres came next but I felt she rehashed her speech from the ATIA’s Women in Leadership Conference, calling for more females in the STEM field – science, technology, engineering and math. She also used the oxygen mask parable again, so yes, she is right, we must take care of ourselves first.

I liked the statistics revealed and celebrated that day:

53% of Aruba’s population is female, vs. 47% male.

At the University of Aruba of the 474 enrolled students, more than 60% are females.

52.1% of the island’s workforce is female.

97.7% of all women living here are literate.

75% of the island’s teachers are females.

43.3% of all managerial positions are held by females including the Prime Minister and the Minister of Finance, Economic Affairs & Culture, the head of the Central Bank, the CEOs of the Pension Funds, the CEO of the Aruba Tourism Authority and the CEO of the Aruba Hotel & Tourism Association, the Government’s Chief Innovation Officer,33% of parliament and 25% of ministers are female, and 73% of all employees working for the Ministry of Finance, Economic Affairs & Culture, are female, according to the MinFec.

96% of females have daily access to the internet.

79.6% of females own a smart phone.

There are 26,414 females employed in Aruba VS 25,803 men – there were just 3,375 females in the workforce in 1960.    

The interesting morning included presentation and panel discussion, and demonstrated that women in our community lead, enjoying a wealth of personal, financial, economic, educational and social opportunities.


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March 11, 2019
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Bati Bleki by Rona Coster
Bati Bleki by Rona Coster
Bati Bleki by Rona Coster
Bati Bleki by Rona Coster