By S. Williams

‘BeBoldForChange,’ campaign theme for the 2017 International Women’s Day celebration, was one of many slogans appearing on t-shirts worn by women as they demonstrated in a street march Wednesday that ended in a rally at The Villa grounds in Nevis.

Junior Minister in the Ministry of Social Development, Hon. Hazell Brandy-Williams told the crowd she achieved her target of getting the message out to at least 1,000 women across the Federation.

“I want to say that when I thought of this project I never thought of it being such a resounding success. We asked for 300 t-shirts at first and when that was all used up other persons came on board and I am proud to say we were able to distribute 1,100 t-shirts. And so I was able to accomplish my goal of getting 1,000 women. Even though everybody did not come out to rally, I know the message was heard and received by at least 1000 women in St. Kitts and Nevis,” she said.

Hon. Brandy-Williams also noted the importance of women empowering each other, moving forward as a united force and being bold for the changes they want to make.

“If we were able to accomplish this goal in a very short time, it means that we as a woman we are strong together and we need each other. So let us use our strength and our energies to empower each other. Women, people are saying, even ourselves we say from time to time that we are our worst enemies. Let us prove them wrong. Let us stand in solidarity with our sisters. Whatever they are going through we should be there to help them up, to motivate them,” she said.

The rally saw presentations from women across the region, with brief remarks also made by Youth Professor from Barbados Dr. Charmaain Crawford on Gender Equality and the Hon. Juan Messiah from Antigua who encouraged women that when someone tells you your place is in the house tell them yes your  place is in the House of Parliament.

Soca songstress Destra was the featured performer and was preceded by a number of local acts among whom was St. Kitts Soca Queen Shanna. Following the rally would be the conclusion of the Regional Women’s Forum at the Mount Nevis where a number of countries from the OECS are represented.

Day One of the forum dealt with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s) relating to women and one of the major points raised by the statistician is the fact that in the region for every $1 a man makes, a woman earns 70 cents.

Day Two dealt with women in politics as over the years and in the region there isn’t a very large percentage of women advancing in elective politics. According to Hon Brandy-Williams, it is important for woman to break the glass ceiling and be in that position where the hard decisions are taken in the interest of women.