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WOMEN TO GATHER FOR POSITIVE CHANGE

Sept. 18, 2002 – Sometimes, as the saying goes, it takes a village. Other times, it just takes a few angry women. Founded by a former V.I. senator, Stephanie Scott-Williams, Women for Positive Change is much more than a village; it's a mission.
The nonprofit organization was formed two years ago, according to Scott-Williams, out of a sense of frustration. The group made waves in 2000 by taking one day and "keeping their money."
The effort made an impact on local retailers and showed women their power within the community. "It was low-budget, but it worked," she said.
The group members don't hold meetings; they gather. "I don't want to attend another damn meeting unless it's going to accomplish something, and I don't want to ask another woman to, either," Scott-Williams said.
The next gathering will be at 3 p.m. on Saturday at Gladys' Café in Royal Dane Mall. Scott-Williams said all women are welcome to attend. "By the mere fact that you're a woman, you're a member," she said.
At the gathering, Women for Positive Change will discuss strategies for the upcoming elections. Women in the territory have tremendous voting power, a power they under-utilize, Scott-Williams said.
Women have 57 percent of the territory's vote, according to Scott-Williams. Yet, voter power is "a very new concept for women in the community," she said.
Despite the fact that women act as heads of households in the territory, Scott-Williams said, women are not aggressively pursuing a political agenda. Women for Positive Change is part of an effort to change that.
"It's basically an empowerment organization," she said. "We make up the work force, we make up the majority voters, but we're abused. We're like the stepchildren."
The gathering Saturday will focus on the development of a strategy for women voters. "Whoever's going to be elected must have the women's vote," Scott-Williams said. "They cannot win without the women's vote."
She said a movement is in the works to offer up a write-in vote to force the government to acknowledge the needs of women in the territory. "We've decided that we're going to use the recall process because that's the law," she said.
The write-in candidate is not expected to win, Scott-Williams said, but the effort will send a message to the government: "It's time that you paid attention to us."
Women need to know they have "a voice and a choice," she said.

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