Nevis’ Junior Minister of Gender Affairs acknowledges International Women’s Day 2017

(ZIZ News) — As the achievements of women across society are being celebrated in commemoration of international women’s day, Junior Minister responsible for Gender Affairs in Nevis Hon. Hazel Brandy-Williams made an address to the nation.

She said the day is a means of sounding a call for greater gender equality, so as to build on gains already made and also spoke of the importance of the day’s observance.

“What is critical about this important day of universal observance is that it does not hold significance for any isolated group or category of persons. Its scope and significance is all encompassing, as it seeks to bring together governments, women’s organisations, corporations and various charitable groups all across the world in various fora of celebration,” she said.

She said “The original aim of International Women’s Day, was to serve as a medium that would articulate the need for full gender equality and empowerment of women. To date, this has still not been completely realised.”

Minister Brandy Williams said the theme #Be Bold For Change”, therefore, serves as a rally for society to fight for change, in addressing inequalities and overcoming longstanding barriers.

“Ours, must be a bold campaign for change which helps our men to understand, that the economic empowerment of our women is a reduced burden on their shoulders, as the responsibility for being the ‘bread-winner’ of the home is shared more evenly and equitably,” she said.

She continued “Ours, must be a bold campaign for change which seeks to eradicate the stain of domestic abuse in our homes and preserves the life and dignity of our wives and daughters. Ours, must be a bold campaign for change which says that the paucity of women in political leadership must become a thing of the past, for our democracy will be the better when we do it together.”

She further noted “We, at the Gender Affairs Division in the Ministry of Social Development, are willing to lead from the front, and have started taking those bold steps for changing and elevating the status of our women.

Some of the activities which we have embarked on include Gender Sensitization and Focal Point Training Workshops, the introduction of the Non-traditional Occupation for Women (NOW) programme, our Second Chance Teen Mothers Life-Skills Training Programme, health fairs and educational sessions. These are done in collaboration with government departments, private sector institutions, community groups and churches throughout the island, but our work continues.”

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