Statement By Dr. The Hon. Timothy Harris, Prime Minister St. Kitts And Nevis On The Occasion Of International Women’s Day 202

My fellow citizens and residents.

Today we celebrate International Women’s Day 2021.

This is an important day of the year. It is a day that the United Nations (UN) has set aside for recognition of women, the essence of their being and their contribution. International Women’s Day provides us all with a chance to publicly say we want all women to have a future that is free from stigma, stereotypes, violence, and inequality.

Today we proudly declare that all women should have a future that is sustainable, peaceful and with equal rights and opportunities.

As a father of two young women, I want a world where my daughters not only reach their full potential, but are supported in doing so by all in society.

I am proud to lead a government that is committed to true equality for women here in St Kitts and Nevis and throughout the world.

Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, there were more jobs and more opportunities for women here in St. Kitts and Nevis, particularly for our young women. Indeed, prior to the COVID-19 pandemic there were more women in the workplace than at any time in our recent history.  We have created those jobs and those opportunities before – and we will do it again.

Yes, the COVID-19 pandemic has set our economy back. We are rebuilding and we are rebuilding stronger and better.

One of the reasons our small country (St. Kitts and Nevis) is fighting COVID-19 so successfully and rebuilding our economy so quickly, is because of the leadership role women have been playing in our COVID-19 management and response.

The theme for this year’s UN International Women’s Day is “Women in Leadership: Achieving an equal future in a COVID-19 world.”

I say to the global community, you only need to look at St Kitts and Nevis to see women’s leadership in action, and to see the strong results that are being delivered during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Our Health Minister is a woman.  Our Chief Medical Officer is a woman.  Our Financial Secretary is a woman.  Our Cabinet Secretary is a woman. Our Chief Personnel Officer is a woman. Permanent Secretaries in Health, Tourism, Sports, Culture, ICT, Talent Development and Entrepreneurship, Sustainable Development, Legal Affairs, etc. are all women. Most of our Ambassadors are women.

It is their tireless efforts, their skill and determination that have been steadily taking us through this COVID-19 crisis, and onward to a stronger, safer future.

But it is not just these women leading us through these times.

Our nurses.  Our front-line workers.  Our caregivers.  All these occupations are made up predominantly of women.  It is their leadership and their commitment on the front line that is keeping us safe.

To you all I say thank you on behalf of our beloved country. Thank you for your leadership at home, in our communities, at the workplaces and in the wider economy and society of St. Kitts and Nevis.

My government has always been committed to equality and equity for all.

We are making a good start but there is much, much more that needs to be done.

On this International Women’s Day, I make this commitment, as your Prime Minister and as a father of two daughters.

As we rebuild our Federation post COVID-19, it will be an equal future.

It will be a future that draws on the talent, the experience and the ambition of our strong and capable women here in St Kitts and Nevis.

There is nothing this Federation cannot achieve when all our people – women and men alike are valued, supported and encouraged.

From a grateful nation, particularly the men, who appreciate all that our dear women have done to teach our children to be good and decent human beings, to build our families, our communities, our schools, our churches and our beloved St. Kitts and Nevis, I say thank you to our women and wish you God’s favour on International Women’s Day.

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