NIA CHARLESTOWN NEVIS (March 08, 2019) — The following is an address by Hon. Hazel Brandy-Williams, Junior Minister of Gender Affairs in the Nevis Island Administration (NIA) on the occasion of International Women’s Day 2019.
It gives me great pleasure to address you on the occasion of International Women’s Day 2019. This annual event gives us the opportunity to celebrate the extraordinary accomplishments of women, and the transformative role that they play in advancing their communities.
As Minister of Gender Affairs, I am pleased to add my voice to the chorus of a rapidly increasing congregation which is valiantly championing the cause of our women.
This year’s international theme “Think Equal, Build Smart, Innovate For Change” encourages us to think of the innovative ways in which we can harness the potential of women, and to likewise use these innovative ideas to build smart and sustainable communities.
Indeed, it is critical that the ideas and experiences of women are used to influence the design and implementation of programs and strategies which will shape the future of our society.
We now live in a world where innovation and technology are drivers of growth and success. This creates an ideal opportunity for us to create a new generation of female entrepreneurs, industry leaders, gender equality activists and women innovators.
Through technology and innovation, particularly through the lens of social media, we have seen so many struggling but strong women come to the fore to tell of their story, and shape the national and international conversation on many issues. For example, through the innovative social media movement “Life in Leggings” we saw how technology was used to shift social norms and attitudes.
It is innovation and reducing barriers to women’s ability to access the by-products of such innovation, which has also allowed us to expand our choices – be it in business, healthcare, politics, agriculture and various other fields of human endeavour but we still can and must do more.
We can further empower women with critical skills and vocational capabilities so that we can play a decisive role in emerging industries. Most importantly, however, we must continue to provide opportunities to develop our leadership capacity so that we can go out into our communities and be agents of positive change.
I take this opportunity to wish all our women around the world a Happy International Women’s Day! I ask all our citizens, to join with me as we celebrate the limitless imagination and boundless talents of women and girls in the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis and everywhere else.