BASSETERRE, St. Kitts, March 8, 2017 (Press Unit in the Office of the Prime Minister) – Countries all across the world have today, March 8, are reflecting on the social, economic, cultural and political achievement of women, while at the same time championing gender equality, in recognition of International Women’s Day 2017.

Right here at home in St. Kitts and Nevis is no different, as the Ministry of Health, Community Development, Gender Affairs and Social Development has spearheaded a number of activities to mark the occasion, including an International Women’s Day awards ceremony at Government House.

The United Nations theme for this year’s observation of International Women’s Day is, “Women in the Changing World of Work: Planet 50-50 by 2030”.

In adding his voice to the issue of women’s rights and gender equality, Prime Minister Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris said his Team Unity Government continues to be a strong advocate for gender parity.

“Team Unity recognizes that without the effective participation of women in all areas of national life, progress and development will be stultified and anemic. Accordingly, we have encouraged and invited our women to be active participants in national life,” Prime Minister Harris said in a statement.

Dr. Harris said this is evident through the elevation of a number of women to key leadership roles since his administration took office just over two years ago.

“We are pleased to have appointed the first woman as Cabinet Secretary, Mrs. Josephine Huggins; first woman as National Chair of our Independence Committee, Senator Phipps; the first woman Press Secretary, Ms. Valencia Grant; and the first woman to lead our Embassy in Cuba, Ms. Verna Morris. Equally, we are proud to have two female senators on the government’s side in the persons of Senators the Hon. Wendy Phipps, and the Hon. Akilah Byron-Nisbett. We appointed Merclyn Hughes as an Assistant Commissioner of Police, a historic first in law enforcement,” the honourable prime minister added, noting that the Government of National Unity is “pleased of our treatment of women and congratulates them all on international Women’s Day.”