BASSETERRE, St. Kitts – Five of the Federation’s leading women were honoured with the Department of Gender Affairs “Awards of Excellence” presentation for their contributions to the development of St. Kitts and Nevis. The presentation was part of International Women’s Day celebrations.International Women’s Day was celebrated under the theme “Women in Leadership -Achieving an Equal Future in a COVID-19 World.”
The women recognised were Janelle Williams for Entrepreneurship and Innovation; Dale Kelley for Community Outreach; Michele Christmas- Jacobs for Communication; Eulynis Brown for Health Care; and Chelesa Rawlins who was the Prime Minister’s Awardee.
Three female students, who participated in the Department’s poetry competition, were also recognised. Third to fifth form female students from all high schools on St. Kitts were asked to write a poem on a prominent woman who made a significant contribution to St. Kitts.
First-place winner was Iris Bertie of the Cayon High School; second-place went to Bianca Davis of the Basseterre High School; and third-place was awarded to T’ koya Leader of the Saddlers High School.
Speaking at the ceremony, Honourable Eugene Hamilton, Minister with responsibility for Social Development and Gender Affairs, said that the theme honours women and girls for their efforts to shape an equitable future and for their efforts to help the world recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Women, perhaps even more so than men, are standing in the forefront of the crisis as healthcare workers, caregivers, community organizers and among other things as innovators,” said the Hon. Hamilton. “My ministry and indeed the entire Government of St. Kitts and Nevis, are proud of the women and girls in our Federation and especially now of those who are putting the needs of this country ahead of their own.”
“This theme aligns with the priority theme of the 65th Session of the Commission on the Status of Women,” said Shinnel Charles, Senior Gender Officer. “It encourages women’s full and effective participation and decision-making in public life and the elimination of violence to achieve gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls.
“The campaign theme #ChoosetoChallenge, urges women to recognise a challenging world and becoming more alert,” she said. “It focuses on the individuals, as well as everyone being responsible for their thoughts and actions.
“The 2021 theme for International Women’s Day is timely as it focuses on COVID-19 in a world that has been forced to face health, economic and social lockdowns,” concluded Mrs. Charles.