Basseterre, St. Kitts (SKNIS): The National Gender Equality Policy and Action Plan is currently going through a Federal ministerial review before its presentation to the Cabinet for approval and implementation.
The policy document was completed by UNESCO Consultant Dwynette Eversley earlier this month and officially presented to St. Kitts and Nevis’ Minister responsible for Gender Affairs, the Honourable Eugene Hamilton, during a brief ceremony on December 14, 2021.
Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Social Development, Janelle Lewis-Tafari, said that the completion of the draft document represented a critical step after years of intense research, documentation, and consultation.
“It represents not only what the current gender situation is in St. Kitts and Nevis, what the challenges and obstacles are for men, women, boys, and girls in terms of being able to achieve their full potential and fully participate in all areas of development and society, but most importantly it represents a road map of what … we can do to change the future for all our people in St. Kitts and Nevis. To ensure that all citizens, regardless of their gender or sex, are able to benefit from all opportunities to partake and participate in every aspect of our society,” she stated.
The permanent secretary thanked Dorothy Warner, Secretary-General of the National Commission of UNESCO, for the outstanding support to the process. This includes contracting the services of Dwynette Eversley as a consultant.
In response, Ms. Warner commended the staff of the Department of Gender Affairs for the work done to ensure that a wide-cross section of society gave input in shaping the policy document. She particularly mentioned the efforts to engage the Spanish community.
Ms. Warner said that she was “happy” to see the policy framework progress to this stage and was eagerly awaiting Cabinet’s approval and its subsequent implementation. The draft policy provides a guide for the day-to-day operations of the Department of Gender Affairs. It also outlines the roles and responsibilities of civil society in promoting and maintaining gender equality and the subsequent opportunities afforded to all.
All parties congratulated the outgoing Director of Gender Affairs, Celia Christopher, for being a driving force to establish the National Gender Equality Policy and Action Plan.