CHARLESTOWN, Nevis – PREMIER Mark Brantley said his Nevis Island Administration and its counterpart in St. Kitts are committed to taking a holistic approach to peace and security in the Federation and youth development.
The Premier, who is also part of the Federal Cabinet, explained that dialogue within the community is essential to achieve such a plan.
While addressing the recent opening of the Women and Youth Forum in Nevis, Brantley said, “Such dialogue affords a participatory process which in turn enables meaningful conversations to deepen our collective understanding. Peace-building mechanisms, if encouraged in our local communities, can assist us to create a framework, which can be of immense benefit to greater social cohesion, crime reduction and an enhanced community spirit.”
Critically important, Brantley noted, is finding ways to engage the young men and women, who hold a valuable and influential place in society, to ensure an inclusive approach to peace and stability.
“At times in our haste for economic development, politicians such as myself give an inordinate amount of attention to physical infrastructural development. Regrettably, with scarce financial resources, such attention often comes at the expense of the social infrastructure in the country…We must give focused attention to our women and our youth.” Brantley added.
With a view of the development of women on Nevis, the Premier explained that when a government invests in and empowers women, it also empowers communities and the nation.
“Indeed, we are empowering our very humanity. Therefore, all of our investments must be designed for gender responsiveness.
“Women must be at the epicenter of all of our efforts if we are to succeed as a nation. When women are better represented in politics, we see improved social protection and gender consideration. When girls are better educated, they contribute more to their communities and are far less tolerant of abuse and violence against them. The empowerment, autonomy and improvement of women’s political and economic status should be high on the agenda of every country in the world.”
He lamented that women continue to face threats to their lives, health and well-being as a result of violence, being overburdened with work and a lack of power, influence, and opportunity.
“In most areas of the globe, women and girls continue to be systematically excluded from achieving their fullest potential. They receive less formal education than men, they receive less pay even when equally educated, and their knowledge and skills often go unrecognised and unappreciated.
“Countries should act to empower women by establishing mechanisms for their equal participation and equitable representation at all levels of the political process and public life in each community and in the wider society. We should all endeavor to promote the fulfillment of women’s potential through education and skills development. By every means necessary, we must eliminate all practices of discrimination against women.”