Minister Hamilton Praises the Resilience of Women as St. Kitts and Nevis Celebrates International Women’s Day

Basseterre, St. Kitts, March 08, 2022 (SKNIS): The Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis joined the rest of the world today, Tuesday, March 08, 2022, in observation of International Women’s Day, under the theme ‘Gender Equality Today for a Sustainable Tomorrow.’

Minister of Social Development and Gender Affairs, the Honourable Eugene Hamilton, in his national address to commemorate International Women’s Day, spoke of the socio-economic barriers that still exist today that hinder gender equality and the role of single mothers in Caribbean households.

“The theme for this year is ‘Gender Equality Today for a Sustainable Tomorrow.’ Countries have also been encouraged to promote the campaign theme #BreakTheBias. The theme is timely, given the interconnected global, economic and environmental challenges of recent times, further exacerbated by the current COVID-19 pandemic,” said Minister Hamilton.

The minister added, “Gender equality, refers to equal rights; it refers to the responsibilities and opportunities of males and females, irrespective of their sex; but it is important to note that Sustainable Development Goal #5 declares that ‘Gender Equality is not only a fundamental human right but a necessary foundation for a peaceful, prosperous and sustainable world’. It is not a women’s issue, but a human rights issue that fully engages men and women. This year’s theme focuses on the contributions of women and girls in building a more sustainable future for all, particularly in the areas of climate change adaptation, mitigation and response.”

This year’s theme is also aligned with the priority theme of the forthcoming 66th Session of the Commission on the Status of Women, which speaks to “Achieving gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls in the context of climate change, environmental and disaster risk reduction policies and programmes.”

Minister Hamilton indicated that locally the majority of households are run by single mothers. He further noted that the impacts of COVID-19 have made women even more vulnerable.

“Our own national statistics indicate that more than 50 percent of all households are headed by single mothers. Those same households face multiple and intersecting forms of discrimination and vulnerability, especially the most socially and economically oppressed, including women living with disabilities… The plight of our womenfolk in the wake of COVID-19 speaks volumes. Here in our Federation, we have seen increased rates of domestic violence and the disproportionate burden of unpaid domestic work and care responsibilities. Thankfully with support from our friends from Taiwan we have been able to effect a training programme for women, creating opportunities for entrepreneurship,” Minister Hamilton said.

The Ministry of Social Development and Gender Affairs will host its annual International Women’s Day Awards Ceremony later today (March 08, 2022) at the historic National Heroes Park. There, the ministry will honour and pay homage to women who have made significant contributions in the areas of science; the digital, blue and green economies; and in the Federation’s COVID-19 response and recovery efforts.

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