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Minister for Health and Social Development Honourable Carvin Malone is calling on the Territory’s women to break down barriers and lead with courage and ingenuity, with the vision to achieve the highest ideals for a better, stronger Virgin Islands.
Honourable Malone was delivering his first public address as Minister for Health and Social Development at an Information Fair organised by the Office of Gender Affairs in celebration of International Women’s Day observed annually worldwide on March 8.
The Minister paid tribute to the women of the Virgin Islands from all walks of life who are taking action for a more balanced society as equal partners in business, parliament, community and family life.
He said, “For the first time in our history two women are serving concurrently as Junior Ministers of Government, offering a perspective that only women can bring to leadership, and inspiring young women and girls of our community to aim higher and dream bigger.”
Honourable Malone said progress for women has been incremental, as each generation builds on the achievements of those that have gone before, but noted that at this crucial moment in the Territory’s development, it is essential for the women of this generation to break down barriers and lead with courage and ingenuity, with the vision to achieve the highest ideals for a better, stronger Virgin Islands.
He said, “History has shown women to be the bedrock of our society through their life and work, making a critical difference whether in times of prosperity or adversity. This year’s theme is therefore very timely and fitting as we chart a new course for the Virgin Islands: Think Equal, Build Smart, Innovate for Change.”
The Health Minister went on to state that although the women of our society have made some important strides, the work is far from finished as gender inequality is still an unfortunate reality.
The highlight of the observance of International Women’s Day in the Virgin Islands was the hosting of an Information Fair by the Office of Gender Affairs under the umbrella of the Ministry of Health and Social Development. Two community stalwarts Mrs. Marlene Trotman and the late Ms. Phyllis Shirley were recognised for their contributions to the formation of the Family Support Network.
International Women’s Day is observed annually to recognise the contributions of women in all their diversities.