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As part of a series of activities to celebrate local women, the Ministry of National Mobilization, Social Development, Family, Gender Affairs, Persons with Disability and Youth, held a special church service dedicated to recognising Women’s achievements. The service was held at the New Testament Church of God at Wilson Hill, under the theme ‘Hats off to Women.’

Assistant Co-ordinator of the Gender Affairs Division, Mrs. Lafleur Harry, said that, as the Division gather to celebrate the achievements of women, the occasion is also a call for gender equality, ensuring equal access to resources and opportunities. Mrs. Harry further stated that the 2018 International Women’s Day, is also an opportunity to empower women, both rural and urban, who are activists, relentlessly working to claim women’s rights, and realise their full potential. The church service paid special tribute to one such recognised women’s activist, the late Urlene Horne of Diamonds Village.

Senator Hon. Deborah Charles, who shared on her experience as a woman in politics, said that the role is not always an easy one as it is filled with lots of challenges. Senator Charles also said that she believes that women in politics have greater influence compared to their male counterparts, as most times, the women themselves are mothers, and are better able to relate to the problems of other women. She encourage the women present to be strong women, full of integrity.

The Minister of National Mobilisation, Hon. Frederick Stephenson, declared the series of activities to celebrate International Women’s Day, open. The Minister said that the Government of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG), continues to recognise the important contribution of women in all sectors of the society; pointing out women in the areas of politics, agriculture, fishing, the church and community-based organisations. Minister Stephenson also said that special recognition must also be given to women who are domestic workers, who work in the home across SVG, noting that their work too, must be considered as equal.

Minister Stephenson added that, despite the many achievements of women, the problem of domestic violence still lingers. He said that the Government has passed the Domestic Violence Act in 2015, which became law in 2017, and appealed specifically to Police men and women, to play their role in enforcing this Act, as we work together to protect the women of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.

The Ministry of National Mobilisation will continue activities throughout the month under the theme “Time is now: Rural and Urban activists transforming women’s lives.”