By: Sazam Hull
(CHARLESTOWN, NEVIS) –‘A promise is a promise time for action to end violence against women’ was the theme for this year’s International Women’s Day celebrated on Friday, March 8, 2013.
In Charlestown, a march was organized to raise awareness and put an end to violence against women on the island. A huge gathering dressed in purple came together and marched from Old Hospital Road to the Elquemedo Willett Park in a strong statement of no tolerance for violence. Following the march, a brief ceremony took place at the Park involving various speakers.
Ms. Ivorcia Hanley, counselor in the Ministry of Gender Affairs gave the opening remarks. She stated that such an event must raise nationwide cognizance about the urgency of ending violence towards women and girls in Nevis. She stated that it was vastly imperative for men to change their attitudes and behaviors when dealing with the opposite sex. Ms Hanley noted that a woman is the cornerstone of a foundation and under no circumstances should there be abuse against that cornerstone. In conclusion she thanked all the persons who took time out of their hectic schedule in order to make the event a success.
Hon. Hazel Brandy-Williams Minister responsible for Social Development also gave some inspiring remarks. She noted that violence against women is a manifestation of historically unequal power relations between men and women. This she believes has led to discrimination against women. Mrs. Williams said it is the general perspective of men that women should be subservient to them and when that belief is challenged confusion usually comes to the fore. In concluding the minister said men ought to adhere to the theme and stop violating women in all forms.
Pastor Eric Maynard gave a humorous and witty presentation in which he outlined a number of things in regards to violation against women. He said men are not entitled to make certain personal decisions for women, which include what political party to support. He noted that it is not a requirement for a wife to show advocacy to the party her husband supports, I am certain that my wife and myself have been on opposite sides to the political spectrum on more than one occasion because I have never voted for the same party all the time. Maynard also appealed to young females who have been continuously abused to reveal the abuse to someone in society.