By Erasmus Williams
Basseterre, St. Kitts, March 7, 2018 – International Women’s Day in St. Kitts and Nevis on Thursday is being observed as funeral arrangements are being planned for two young women brutally murdered exactly one week ago.
Nineteen-year-old Naomi Finch was strangled and her 20-year-old sister, Jimmyliah Finch was partially decapitated, becoming the third female murder victims for 2018. Three women were murdered in 2017 and one in 2016.
Women in St. Kitts and Nevis in the past three years of the Timothy Harris-led Team Unity Government are also being victimized and harassed.
Chairperson of the opposition St. Kitts-Nevis Labour Party (SKNLP) and Parliamentary Representative for St. Christopher 2 (Central Basseterre), Hon. Marcella Liburd said despite the past achievements in St. Kitts and Nevis, there has been an erosion of that progress over the past three years.
Emphasising that the theme for this years’ observance of International Women’s Day, is Press for Progress,” Liburd said: “We need to press for progress as we have retrogressed over the last three years” of the Team Unity Government led by Prime Minister Dr. Timothy Harris.
“We must join together with one voice to reverse the trend where women’s rights are being eroded and more and more women are becoming victims of violence and murder, sexual assault, rapes, intrusion of their homes, many of them single parents, who are head of households,” said Liburd.
She recalled the murder of businesswoman, Arlene Nisbett-Liburd in her line of duty on 31st October 2016.
“I thought the sounds I heard were firecrackers, but on leaving Valu Mart, I discovered that it was a lady who was killed. I recalled commenting at the time, this was a turning point for us in St. Kitts and Nevis with respect to violence against women and called on the Ministry of Gender Affairs to initiate projects to help women to feel safe. To date nothing has been done,” said Liburd.
She listed the women who were murdered in 2017 as 28-year-old Morella Webbe of Cotton Ground, Nevis, shot and killed on April 17th; the June 2, murder of 37-year-old Lydia Jacobs, gunned down outside her home in Church Ground, Nevis and the June 14, discovery in a shallow grave of missing 17-year-old BHS student Leanna Napoleon of Keys, St. Kitts.
The first female murdered this year was 45-year-old Shirley Dawn Morton of Hanley’s Road, Nevis, whose body was discovered in the Buck’s Hill, Gingerland home of her boyfriend, Wayne “Spyer”Chapman. Cause of death was multiple blunt force traumas to the head causing brain injury.
“We have to ensure that we protect our women,” she pleaded.