Basseterre, St. Kitts, March 09, 2016 (SKNIS): A number of impactful activities to highlight the role of women in development have been planned in observance of International Women’s Day (March 8) held under the theme “Pledge for Parity”.

Minister of State with responsibility for Gender Affairs, Honourable Wendy Phipps, said in her statement commemorating the day that the activities commenced on Sunday, February 28, 2016, when “the staff of the Department worshipped at Sacred Heart Roman Catholic Church in Sandy Point” and noted that the events are “staggered over a 45 day period.”

Upcoming events include an Industrial Site Workshop on “The Contribution of Women to the Development of St. Kitts & Nevis” on March 09; High School Visits for Gender Sensitization Talks from March 14 to 18; and a Women’s Symposium, which is an evening event in collaboration with the Department of Community Development on April 01 .

Several special International Women’s Day events will also take place in Nevis, including a Church Service, a Women’s Symposium, and the Launch of the Non-traditional Occupational Training for Women (NOW).

She stated that a number of other activities are also being finalised on St. Kitts, such as a

One-day Stakeholder Workshop on the Domestic Violence Protocol, radio appearances, and a Support Programme for Grieving Mothers who have been affected by the loss of children due to violence.

Minister Phipps took the opportunity to thank the staff at the Department of Gender Affairs for dedication and hard work in staging International Women’s Day 2016 celebrations.

“Under the leadership of Mrs. Celia Christopher, Director of Gender Affairs, and the Permanent Secretary, Mrs Janelle Lewis-Tafari, the Department has been creative in planning a number of activities that are timely, relevant and impactful,” said the minister. “These projects and programmes also fall within the overall mandate of the Department, which is concentrated on advocacy for gender based development in the Federation. The Federal Government uses this opportunity to commend Mrs. Christopher and her five-member team for their magnanimous efforts.

The minister also expressed commendations to the support teams “that annually contribute to the staging of the International Women’s Day events.”

“Such groups include representatives from non-governmental organisations (NGOs) with an interest in women’s advancement, including the Christian Council and Evangelical Association; Business and Professional Women’s Club; and the Mother’s Union of the Anglican Communion. This year, we add to the list of supporters CIBC First Caribbean International Bank, which is providing a scholarship to a deserving teen mother.”

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