by Kevon Browne
St. Kitts and Nevis (WINN): “To guarantee a more productive, positive and prosperous St. Kitts and Nevis, we must shoulder the responsibility to implement the equality agenda faster, further and more firmly,” said the Hon Hazel Brandy Williams, Junior Minister of Gender Affairs in the Nevis Island Administration (NIA) on the occasion of International Women’s Day.
Today (Tuesday, March 8) is International Women’s Day, a globally recognised day where the impact of activism and advocacy for women and girls is highlighted.
The day raises the visibility of women’s achievements, strengthens their influence at all levels, and furthers the protection of their human rights in all spheres.
This year’s theme is “Equality today for a sustainable tomorrow”.
During her address, Brandy Williams emphasised the need to have and keep women as a significant voice in securing the sustainability of a community.
The Junior Minister focused on the need for women to be a part of the fight against climate change and mitigation efforts for natural disasters.
“Climate change has been identified as a threat multiplier. It exacerbates existing environmental threats, and unfortunately, women and girls are affected the worse by the disastrous effects of climate change.”
Brandy Williams says preparation for natural disasters must include factors for the effects on women.
“Women must be included on disaster preparedness committees to ensure that those committees can accurately represent the needs of the entire society. Gender equality matters during a hurricane. Measures must be put in place to guarantee that women and girls are kept safe from gender-based violence, such as rape and sexual harassment… and gender equality matters after a hurricane because financial aid and other forms of relief must be equitably distributed among males and females to ensure that both genders are fully equipped to recover.”
Regionally, United Nations (UN) representatives call for women to be included in developing public infrastructure and creating safe spaces for women, saying that spaces safe for men may not necessarily be safe for women.
“Resilient, inclusive, smart and safe public spaces enable businesses to thrive and empower the citizens to live their life to the fullest. Reliable and sustainable public transportation is a critical element of this. They both enable access to employment and key services, income generation, recreation and wellbeing, thus influencing gender equality,” said Tonni Ann Brodber, Representative for the UN Women Multi-Country Office – Caribbean and Elkin Velásquez, Regional Representative
In the UN-Habitat / Latin America and the Caribbean.
The St. Kitts and Nevis Chamber of Industry and Commerce (SKNCIC) joined in saluting and recognising the contribution of all Women in St. Kitts and Nevis, changemakers, doers, leaders, and visionaries who are paving the way for a better future for all.
The Manufacturing Division of the chamber reported that they are experiencing an increased number of women filling senior roles within the sector once dominated by men in the fields of engineering, department managers, and plant managers.
On Nevis, as part of the commemoration and celebrations of women, the Department of Gender Affairs in the NIA is hosting a Gender Expo on Friday, March 18, where several business owners, especially women, will get the chance to showcase their talents and businesses as part of a month of activities.