Gender Affairs Minister delivers address to mark International Men’s Day 2018

NIA CHARLESTOWN NEVIS (November 19, 2018) — The following is an address by Hon. Hazel Brandy-Williams Junior Minister responsible for Gender Affairs on Nevis in observance of International Men’s Day on November 19, 2018. The theme is “Positive Male Role Models: Together We Can Make a Difference.”

It is a distinct pleasure, as Minister of Gender Affairs, to be able to address you on the occasion of International Men’s Day 2018.

International Men’s Day presents us with yet another opportunity to celebrate the positive value which men the world over bring to their families and their communities. Indeed, it is a time for us to highlight those positive male role models in our society who continue to lead by virtue of their example and by the example of their virtues.

Every day, men make sacrifices in their place of work and in the home as husbands and as fathers. In a world where there are so many distractions which seek to negatively influence the behaviour of our children, the guiding hand of our male role models is indeed very critical towards moulding the type of society we would wish for Nevis to become, and in helping to keep our youth on the straight and narrow path.

Our little girls need positive male role models in their lives as well, especially within the home so they can know that they are loved and therefore looking for love elsewhere will not become an option.

Our young boys need positive male role models in the home and in the community generally so that they can have upstanding persons whom they can aspire to be like and who can instill in them a sense of right from wrong.

Our society needs positive male role models in the church, in our schools, in the workplace and on the street corners so that all bases are covered and no one is left behind. For those men who have been doing their part, I want to commend you and thank you. And to be certain, I want to encourage you to do more.

International Men’s Day, however, is not only a moment for us to celebrate. It is also an opportunity to consolidate. It allows us to consolidate our gains made in addressing the many challenges confronting men in our society, and to examine those areas where we still need to invest further. Areas such as men’s health and well-being, male victims of violence and those who resort to a life of violence, as well as the pressures and gender stereotypes, which our boys face in and out of school.

On that note, International Men’s Day allows us to consider what it truly means to be a man. Does it require our males to be macho or does it require them to be mature? Does it require only boldness or does it often require compassion and benevolence?

If our society is to be one where positive male role models abound, then we must inculcate in our boys from an early age the values of sensitivity, empathy, compassion and respect. This will position them to become positive male role models in their own right.

As we celebrate International Men’s Day 2018, I want to challenge all of you, to find your own unique and individual way, to celebrate and uplift our men. Let us continue to encourage them and grant them the reassurance, that we are all partners in the cause of making that positive difference in our society.

Thank you.

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