TODAY marks the final racemeet before Christmas, and with the 10-race programme offering a $5.4 million Pick-9 carryover, a payout in excess of $8 million looks a real possibility.Three trophy races will be run on the afternoon, including the annual renewal of the Sweet Ruckus Trophy over 1400 metres for native and imported two-year-olds, with a purse of $850,000.The other trophy races on the card are the round-five Stewards’ Cup for maiden two-year-old colts and geldings, and the Restricted Allowance II for the Titania Trophy over 1100 metres, which is confined to fillies and mares.The Philip Feanny-trained BUBBLING KITTEN, who impressed in the Dye Job Sprint, over 1200 metres, on December 12, renews rivalry with the runner-up and then-favourite, BLUE DIXIE, in a small field of six, and judging from the manner of her victory, she looks hard to oppose.Dye Job SprintBUBBLING KITTEN beat BLUE DIXIE by all of six and a half lengths in the Dye Job Sprint, covering the distance in the smart time of 1:13.1 under former champion jockey Wesley ‘Callaloo’ Henry, who again has the ride.With the tongue tie fitted for that race, the bay filly, by Blue Pepsi Lodge out of Shanna D, showed good speed to dispute the early lead with RALLY BABY and skittered away on entering the straight for a facile win, behind splits of 23.0 and 46.1.She is still extremely fit, and with the additional furlong no obstacle, should lead home Gary Subratie stable companions BLUE DIXIE and GOLDEN GLORY.Subratie indicated last Saturday that BLUE DIXIE had some minor issues for the Dye Job Sprint, but is expecting a better race today, and has called up outgoing champion jockey Dane Nelson to try and make a difference. BLUE DIXIE looks a safe exacta horse.I also like the well-advanced newcomer, SIR RAJA BABA (working well) to lead home EQUUS in the Stewards’ Cup, in which nine two-year-olds will run; fleet-footed FIRE ALARM ahead of COMMANDING AVIATOR in the Titania Trophy; MESSITHEGREAT to recoup losses in the sixth; CRUCIAL VALOR in the seventh; and PRINCESS SHEMIKA to stave off CHEERS in the eighth.
President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has committed Liberia to aspects of Goal No. 5 of the new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) adopted last weekend by the United Nations General Assembly in New York. According to a dispatch, the President made the commitment at an event on gender equality and women’s empowerment on Sunday, September 27.In committing her administration, President Sirleaf said before the end of her tenure, she will endeavor to ensure the domestic violence bill is passed into law; ban female genital mutilation (FGM) and ensure increased women’s participation in politics.On the domestic violence bill, the President promised to collaborate with the National Legislature to pass into law the proposed Domestic Violence Act endorsed by the Liberian Cabinet on June 15, 2015 and currently before the lawmakers for enactment. The draft Bill defines Domestic Violence pursuant to Article 2 of the Declaration on the Elimination of Violence against Women.As regards ban on female genital mutilation, President Sirleaf committed to ensure the complete adherence to the enforcement of the ban on female genital mutilation in light of the backdrop that the 2011 Law on Children offers protection against all forms of violence including FGM.On greater women’s participation in politics, President Sirleaf pledged to ensure the ongoing Constitution Review process in Liberia guarantees women’s full participation in governance and national affairs on a parity basis. During the Constitution Review Conference early this year, the women of Liberia recommended five critical issues to be captured in the proposed constitution among which equal representation and participation of women in all sectors of Liberia (elected, appointed and selected) should be reflected in the constitution. A Parity Bill is currently being discussed before the National Legislature. Taking this into consideration, the Women of Liberia propose that the 30 percent quota which was proposed in 2010 be increased to 50 percent and that the scope is broadened to include all sectors (public and private) of Liberia.The new 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which comes into effect on January 1, 2016, has set out 17 Sustainable Development Goals and 169 targets to achieve over the next 15 years. This 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development seeks to build on the Millennium Development Goals and complete what the MDG did not achieve. It seeks to realize the human rights of all and to achieve gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls. The new SDGs are integrated, indivisible and balance the three dimensions of sustainable development: economic, social and environmental.Specifically, Goal No. 5 seeks to achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls, end all forms of discrimination against all women and girls everywhere; eliminate all forms of violence against all women and girls in the public and private spheres, including trafficking and sexual and other types of exploitation. It further aims to eliminate all harmful practices, such as child, early and forced marriage and female genital mutilation; recognize and value unpaid care and domestic work through the provision of public services, infrastructure and social protection policies and the promotion of shared responsibility within the household and the family as nationally appropriate. The exercise is to further ensure women’s full and effective participation and equal opportunities for leadership at all levels of decision-making in political, economic and public life; ensure universal access to sexual and reproductive health and reproductive rights as agreed in accordance with the Program of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development and the Beijing Platform for Action and the outcome documents of their review conferences.It will further undertake reforms to give women equal rights to economic resources, as well as access to ownership and control over land and other forms of property, financial services, inheritance and natural resources, in accordance with national laws. The use of enabling technology, in particular information and communication technology, will be enhanced to promote the empowerment of women; adopt and strengthen sound policies and enforceable legislation for the promotion of gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls at all levels.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)