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A strong call has been made on female parliamentarians to provide better representation for unmarried women and children who are constantly disadvantaged by institutional and legalized discrimination entrenched within the legislative, justice and social systems.

It comes from the women and child rights advocacy group Raise Your Voice St Lucia, which has stressed that Government must take the necessary steps to create an environment where women and their children can grow to their full potential.

The call stems from the observation that the local legislation to ensure protection and equality for unmarried women and their children is yet to be amended, even though St. Lucia ratified the Convention, on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination, Against Women in October 1992, and the Convention on the Rights of the Child in June of 1993.

The organization stressed that if unmarried women and their children are to enjoy equality; the OECS Family Law Bills must be enacted with corresponding amendments to the Civil Code regarding (1) succession laws, and (2) removal of references to illegitimate and legitimate children to achieve parity among all children.

The organization believes that it is also imperative to amend the Affiliation Act to make child support dependent on means and not a stipulated Two Hundred Dollars per month stipend for an entire month while the cost of basic food items continues to rise.
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