The following is an address by Hon. Hazel Brandy-Williams, Junior Minister of Health and Gender Affairs in the Nevis Island Administration (NIA) on the occasion of International Men’s Day 2021.
At this time each year we pause to celebrate the men of Nevis on a day dedicated to them. International Men’s Day is recognized annually around the world on November 19th to acknowledge the cultural, economic, political and social contributions of men to their communities. We, the Ministry of Health and Gender Affairs, are always enthused to lead our local celebrations in support of the men of Nevis.
The theme for International Men’s Day this year is, “Better Relations Between Men and Women.” This is fitting as, for too long, global discussions on gender have in a number of ways pitted us against ourselves in a battle of the sexes. If we are stronger together then we are definitely weaker apart.
With a focus on better relations between men and women we highlight the importance of each gender in our shared progress, and the fact that we need each other to thrive. After all, that which is good and bright in our country today is the product of men and women working together – affecting positive change, instilling and exemplifying values of respect, patriotism and industry, and nurturing the steady development of our bounded islands.
We are extremely fortunate in our blessed island of Nevis to have men who stand as pillars of their community and treasures of our nation. They have gone above the call of duty, exemplifying the theme of Men’s Day 2021 – and they have done so through the arts, sports and fitness, volunteerism, spiritual guidance, philanthropy, community involvement among other areas. I want to congratulate these men, a number of whom we will formally recognised at our Awards Ceremony on November 30th for their sterling, selfless and salient contributions.
In further commemoration of International Men’s Day, the Department of Gender Affairs is hosting a number of events throughout the month of November. These began with a church service on the 14th. On Tuesday November 16th we launched the Boys Mentorship Programme with a training session for mentors. This is an important social intervention that will provide for our boys’ positive role models who will guide them into becoming productive citizens and committed nation builders.
On November 25th the Department will host its ‘Better Relations Seminar’ for men and women to deal with the socially significant topic of gender-based violence. On Saturday, the 27th we look forward to partner with the Department of Agriculture for this year’s edition of “Men Can Cook” the Grill Master Competition. This promises to be an exciting event for the family and will take place on the Villa Grounds. We are happy to announce that the champion of Men Can Cook this year will win a trip to represent our island in Florida in 2022.
I invite you the general public to join us in celebrating the men of Nevis throughout the month of November. They are your fathers, uncles, brothers, cousins, and friends. Many go unnoticed. They face, in most instances, a tremendous struggle against the strong tide of negativity that exists in their daily reality; however, it was US President, John F Kennedy who said of his country’s mission to the moon, we do it ‘not because it is easy but because it is hard’.
We therefore salute our men who stand as giants year after year out supporting their family, community and country.
I commend you. We commend you! Happy International Men’s Day 2021!
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