Minister Phipps Lauds Women’s Role In The Fight Against COVID-19 On International Women’s Day

Basseterre, St. Kitts, March 10, 2021 (SKNIS): As International Women’s Day, on March 08, was celebrated under the theme “Women in Leadership –Achieving an Equal Future in a COVID-19 World, with the subtheme of #choosetochallenge, Minister of International Trade, Industry, Commerce, Consumer Affairs and Labour, the Honourable Wendy Phipps, said that this theme forces everyone to step back and assess the role women have played and continue to play both in the fight against COVID-19 and in spite of COVID-19.

Minister Phipps was at the time making an address on the occasion of International Women’s Day, where she noted that the analysis of the theme demonstrates “the urgency of now for gender equity in every sphere of human endeavour, be it business, education, industry, government, politics, social and economic development and leadership in general.”

“The theme is a clarion call for space to be taken up in creating, broadening and enriching opportunity for women and girls everywhere,” she said. “The theme also demand the imperative for a just, equitable, and inclusive approach to global development so women can take their rightful places in leadership.”

The minister said that the COVID-19 pandemic has put women at the forefront in terms of the rendering of professional healthcare in nursing and medicine.

“Single mothers have also been most seriously affected by job loss and displacement, which were induced by the worldwide recession that has been caused by the pandemic,” she said.

Minister Phipps said that there is much to celebrate about women’s leadership in the face of COVID-19.

“A careful assessment of some countries that have better handled the pandemic response are by correlation headed by female heads of government,” she said. “One need only look at jurisdictions like New Zealand, Germany, Iceland, Taiwan, Denmark, Norway and Finland and one would realise the careful, and early and decisive stride taken by their female government leaders to protect public health control the spread of infection and keep the death rates low.”

She stated that these strides are not paying immense dividends for these countries.

“Such a track record by this small group of women leaders is worthy of the highest commendation,” she said. “It should also serve as an inspiration to all women particularly when one considers the following facts: women serve as heads of state or government in only 22 countries; some 119 jurisdictions have never had a female leader; only 21 percent of government ministers are women; only 14 countries have achieved 50 percent or more women in Cabinets; just 25 percent of our national parliamentarians are women; only in Latin America and the Caribbean, Europe and North America do women hold more than 30 percent of the parliamentary seats; and based on the current state of women’s leadership, gender equality in the highest positions of power will not be attained for another 130 years.”
Minister Phipps said that she was proud to salute women and girls on the occasion of International Women’s Day.

“May every global citizen commit to doing his or her part to ensure that women and girls have a secure future, wherein their human rights are protected, their education and career opportunities are guaranteed, and their lives are free from violence in all of its many forms,” she said.

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