She stated that the theme, “Think Equal, Build Smart, Innovate for Change,” is part and parcel of “Planet 50/50”, which was introduced by the United Nations to bring about gender parity and balance in working towards Goal #5 of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for 2030. Goal #5 is “Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls.”
“By this it means that virtually everything that is done by member states in terms of the advancement of women must be done with gender parity in mind. Whereas we have seen significant strides in terms of where women have come from, there is still much more ground to cover” she said.
The minister said that this year’s International Women’s Day focus is on the area of women’s development in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (S.T.E.M.) subjects and in design.
“There are ample opportunities and examples that we’ve seen to get into S.T.E.M subjects or to see the achievements of persons who attain great heights in terms of S.T.E.M subjects,” she said, while adding that, “there are ample examples out there to show that that goal has been shattered…but we wanted to make sure in terms of this year’s celebration that we focus on that type of development.”
She made mention of Senator Akilah Byron-Nisbett and noted that she is one of the women who has penetrated the male dominated field of technology with her background in technology and communication, while noting that more and more women are now being seen in these types of roles around the world.
“I join all of you in celebrating and honouring our women today and especially those of you who are women, the honour is for you…,” said Minister Phipps.