Montego Bay hosts 2013 International Women's Forum
Janet Silvera, Senior Gleaner Writer
More than 400 women, members of the International Women's Forum (IWF), from 30 countries across the globe, have converged on Montego Bay, Jamaica, with one theme in mind - music - an instrument for change.
From as far as Morocco, Hong Kong, Ethiopia, Egypt, Ghana, Israel, Iran and South Africa, to as close as the United States, Mexico, Ecuador and Bermuda, these women - some of the most powerful in the world - are here to exchange ideas and deliberate. For two days, they will 'own' the Montego Bay Convention Centre.
On Wednesday night, the power brokers were fêted at a fabulous opening reception at the Rose Hall Great House, a fitting welcome to the city that has been tagged 'The Complete Resort'.
historic 2013 cornerstone
In her welcoming remarks, IWF's global president, Deedee Corradini, described the conference as a historic 2013 cornerstone, noting that the insights and inspiration that will be gained in Jamaica during the two-day event will shape the perspective of her members and inform their approach in exercising the kind of change that the world's female leaders can believe in.
"This small island of Jamaica holds out many paradoxes and lessons that are important for us to better understand," she stated.
The former mayor of Salt Lake City, Utah, lauded the country of 2.7 million people for the indelible mark it has left on music, sport, style and language. "Around the globe, you have become an international marker of 'cool'," she told the gathering.
The women, many of them with their husbands, were greeted by three of the country's most powerful women - minister of state in the Ministry of Industry, Investment and Commerce, Sharon Ffolkes-Abrahams, president of the Jamaican chapter of IWF, Pat Ramsay, and Michele Rollins of Rose Hall Developments Limited.
Last night, they presented the Leading Light Award to famed artiste and humanitarian Rita Marley.