October 11th, 2019 -- The Ministry of Gender Affairs, Community Development and Social Services salutes every young woman and girl in the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis today, Friday, October 11, 2019 on the occasion of the global observance of The International Day of the Girl.
The International Day of the Girl is an annual celebration that is now in its 12th year, and is an outgrowth of the 1995 Beijing Conference on Women. The theme for this year’s observance is “GirlForce: Unscripted and Unstoppable”.
Minister of State with Responsibility for Gender Affairs, the Hon Wendy Phipps, noted that the 2019 theme for The International Day of the Girl is a powerful clarion call that reminds young women the world over that they should press through barriers – real or artificial - to achieve their rightful place in the world:
“GirlForce: Unscripted and Unstoppable” is an unmistakeable message to all of our young women and girls that they should tap into the power inside themselves and dare to live lives that matter, even if they have to shatter historically confined boundaries that have traditionally held hostage the advancement of women,” Minister Phipps said.
“The 2019 theme also tells us that our Nation’s girls and young women must write the scripts for their own lives and push pass the obstacles that seemingly appear to prevent them from achieving their goals, regardless of whether these blockades appear in the social realm, education, business, career development, leadership, and culture and the arts, among other areas of human endeavour,” Minister Phipps added.
The Ministry of Gender Affairs, et al noted that the matter of the Girl Child was the subject of one of the 12 Strategic Objectives outlined in the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action that was agreed at the ground-breaking, global conference on women which the UN convened in Beijing, China in 1995. The Declaration and Action Plan also called for the measurement of nine (9) indicators to assess whether global targets were being met regarding improvements in the lives of young women and girls.
These nine (9) indicators are as follows:
1. Eliminate all forms of discrimination against girls
2. Eliminate negative cultural attitudes and practices against girls.
3. Promote and protect the rights of girls and increase awareness of their needs and potential.
4. Eliminate discrimination against girls in education, skills development and training.
5. Eliminate discrimination against girls in health and nutrition.
6. Eliminate the economic exploitation of child labour and protect young girls at work.
7. Eradicate violence against girls.
8. Promote girls’ awareness of and participation in social, economic and political life.
9. Strengthen the role of the family in improving the status of girls
An official from the Ministry of Gender Affairs, et al noted that in 2020 a global report card will be expected from all UN Member States insofar as how they would have put into practice their commitments to the attain success along the lines of the nine (9) indicators. It is expected that this UN Meeting, set for March 2020, will also be a celebration of the 25th year since the hosting of the historic Beijing Conference.
It was noted that significant strides have been made in our Federation to improve the lives of our young women and girls. These include our teen mothers programme, Project Viola; the ability of teen mothers returning to high school after giving birth; and equal access to education, among other matters. Our young women and girls already out-perform boys in high schools and in overseas examinations. More of them generally remain in school throughout their primary and secondary educational periods than do boys.
On the occasion of The International Day of the Girl the Ministry of Gender Affairs, et al also commends the Director of Gender Affairs, Mrs Celia Christopher and her small, dedicated team for carrying out the mandate of the Department of Gender Affairs and for advocating for the rights and advancement of our Country’s young women and girls.
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