Charlestown-Nevis-A very important ceremony was held at the Occasions on Friday 27th January.
This was a ceremony which featured the presentation of certificates to the graduating class of a gender sensitization workshop which was held in 2016 and was sponsored by the Basic Needs Trust Fund (BNTF).
Apologies were made for the absence of Mr. Alsted Pemberton, the Director at the BNTF Nevis office who was unavoidably absent.
The ceremony was ably chaired by the animated Eric Evelyn who ensured that the program flowed smoothly.
Pastor Salome James delivered the invocation and this was followed by a steel pan rendition of the national anthem, played by Gavin Patterson.
Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Social Development, Mr. Keith Glasgow, in his remarks, noted that there was lots of emphasis these days on gender issues. He said that gone are the days when persons said this belongs to this gender or that belongs to that one.
He indicated that his Ministry is attempting to provide equal access to available opportunities of social and economic development to males and females.
He further stated that the Gender Affairs divisions in St.Kitts and Nevis are heading in the right direction in achieving gender equality goals.
Representative from the Gender Affairs Division in St.Kitts, Ms. Shinelle Charles, also addressed the gathering and stated that the workshop formed part of the gender sensitization project, funded by the Basic Needs Trust Fund (BNTF).
She told the Graduants that having completed the workshop, it is expected that they will continue to pursue training at their various work places.
She stated that the Ministry of Social Services on St.Kitts is deeply appreciative of the collaboration with the Social Services department in Nevis and look forward to a continued strengthening of the relationship between the two departments.
She said that the departments should continue to solicit support from the public and private sectors and admonished the graduating class to be actively involved in the decision making process at their various work places, so as to ensure that gender is integrated in the policies and programs at such work places.
The speeches were interspersed with a rendition on pan by Gavin Patterson and then Gender Affairs Coordinator, Miss Lorraine Archibald, introduced Mr. Rohan Isles, the featured speaker of the day.
Mr. Isles who is currently employed as a junior Communications Officer at the office of Disaster Management, stated that more needs to be done in dealing with gender issues.
He noted that the methods used in understanding men and women in terms of access to resources; activities and the constraints they face, relative to each other, is an important facet in getting a clearer picture of the fundamental importance of gender equality.
He pointed out that gender issues are just as much about males as it is about females.
He questioned whether or not a woman’s maternity leave should be extended to a year and men’s paternity leave, the same and also noted the concerns of women with issues such as menstruation.
He stated that legislation should reflect diversity in men and women and pointed out that many countries are still faced with gender imbalance, inequality and inequity.
He stated that gender equality necessitates the allocation of resources, programs and decision making, fairly, to both males and females.
He indicated that of the 200 member countries of the United Nations, only 22 are headed by women and of the top 500 CEOS, 24 are women with only 4 in the top 100.
He also noted that the evidence of gender discrimination is rooted in history, tradition and culture and pointed out that there needs to be an environment which provides equal opportunity in accessing all resources.
His impressive address was followed by the presentation of certificates to the beaming participants who received certificates of participation and/or completion. These were presented by Miss Lorraine Archibald, in collaboration with PS Glasgow.
Participant, Mrs. Mariney Newton gave an overview of the two day training workshop and stated that the participants all felt privileged to be a part of such training. She indicated that the objectives of the workshop were to:
- Develop awareness of issues related to gender
- To build skills to reduce gender based barriers to individuals and collective growth and sustainable development.
- To provide opportunities for the application of knowledge towards sustainable development.
The vote of thanks was delivered by Pastor Wayne Maynard and then the persons present engaged in a cocktail setting with musical entertainment provided by Gavin Patterson.