Basseterre, St. Kitts, March 08, 2016 (SKNIS): In celebration of this year’s International Women’s Day, six women were honoured at a breakfast and awards ceremony held at the Marriot Beach Resort on March 08.
Jacqueline Lenora Browne, Merclyn Hughes, Maureen Dickenson, Cherryl Ward, Raslyn Connor and Malvie James were honoured at the prestigious event. They were recognised in the fields of Media, Information and Communications Technology (ICT), Agriculture and Agri-business, Science (including Medical Science), Law Enforcement, Military and Rescue Services and Industry.
Keynote Speaker, Attorney-at-Law Marguerite Foreman, called on not only the awardees but also women in general to recognise the power they have.
“You have a power to be vocal, to be advocates and to help move the goals of women forward,” she said. “But let it not be thought that we are beating down on men—far from it. The power that we have is the power to convince those men who have not yet converted that we have just as much to offer as they do. On merit, we are not asking for tokenism. Those of us who may be in a position to provide jobs for others must be able to recognise merit. We must recognise excellence in our fellow women that’s part of helping us to achieve parity.”
Minister of State responsible for Gender Affairs, Honourable Wendy Phipps, stated that the strides women may take for parity for women has to begin with women as individuals.
“It starts with how you see yourself, how you see yourself elevating, it continues with the belief system that you have inside of you,” said the minister. “Do you think that you have what it takes? Yes, it is true that we might say that it is a male dominated society but I believe that you get what you negotiate. Things just don’t happen for you if you are a trailblazer. You have to make it happen.”
In her address to the nation to commemorate the day, Minister Phipps saluted awardees and also “the thousands of women in our Federation who continue to serve without recognition, against the odds, regardless of their circumstances.”
“You are all heroes and paragons of good examples to our young women and girls whom we are all called to mentor and to groom,” said the minister. “When we would have carried out this sacred trust, our young women and girls can then walk into the destinies created specifically for them by God, their Creator.”
Ten women in Nevis are also being recognized for excellent service in area of community development.
International Women’s Day 2016, is being celebrated locally under the theme ‘Pledge for Parity’, “which falls within the wider directive of United Nations (UN) Women dubbed: ‘Planet 50-50 by 2030: Step It Up For Gender Equality’.”