The Ministry of Community Development, Gender Affairs and Social Services will be launching a project to develop a National Gender Equality Policy and Action Plan on Thursday November 29 at the Birdrock Beach Hotel. Ms. Celia Christopher, Director of the Department of Gender Affairs, explained that this policy will be designed to ensure the rights and interests of men and women are at the core of the Government of St. Kitts and Nevis’ development agenda.
“The goal of the project is the development of a well-informed, comprehensive National Gender Equality Policy and Action Plan that will guide the implementation of gender based and sensitive strategies, both in the public and private sector, in an effort to protect the human rights of all citizens and residents. This will therefore serve to ensure that rights and interest of men and women are at the core of the country’s development agenda, which is envisioned to contribute significantly to positive life changing measurable outcomes in the life of citizens,” Ms. Christopher explained.
The Gender Affairs Department Director added that the comprehensive National Gender Equality policy and Action Plan will serve as an institutional framework that will assist the government of St. Kitts and Nevis in facilitating gender equality and empowerment. This is in support of our attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals and other regional and international commitments. The policy, Ms. Christopher further explained, will help guide initiatives that are gender sensitive designed and utilize a rights -based approach for human development and a more productive society.
“The project is funded by UNESCO and is of a one year duration. The target groups include women and men organisations, public and private sectors, non-governmental, community and, faith-based organisations, civil society, the media and female-headed families,” stated the Director.
The action plan will allow for sustainability of our efforts at achieving gender equality as initiatives to be state funded by various government Departments and Ministries will be identified and agreed upon. This will be supported by technical and financial assistance from regional and international agencies. Private sector entities and civil society will also be expected to play a role in the implementation of the Gender Equality and Action Plan.
“Monitoring and evaluation of the project will be done by a multi-agency Steering Committee that will meet at least once a month. Widespread consultation, public awareness and advocacy, which form a significant component of the process, will ensure that the ministry fulfills all of its responsibilities.”
“It is also important to encourage the participating agencies, such as the media, stakeholders of the project and the wider community, to take ownership of this very important project if its deliverables are to be realized,” she added
The National Gender Equality Policy and Action Plan will be launched on Thursday November 29 at 9 am at the Birdrock Beach Hotel and will feature remarks by government ministers and representatives from UNESCO and UN Women.