Public Health Communications Specialist
Ministry of Health/Social Development
Eleven women and four girls were recognised for their contribution to the Territory’s climate change and disaster risk reduction management agenda as part of International Women’s Day activities.
The women were selected by their Permanent Secretaries, based on extensive work in assessing, mitigating and identifying practical strategies to promote climate change and Disaster Risk Management in the department, through a process by the Ministry of Natural Resources, Labour and Immigration working within the Environment and Climate Change Unit.
The four students from Elmore Stoutt High School, Cedar International and St. Georges Secondary school were winners of the ministry’s video competition on climate change addressing the topics of: Why is Tackling Climate Change Important for the VI? What Can I do to Stop Climate Change? and What are the Solutions to Climate Change?
Minister for Health and Social Development, Honourable Carvin Malone, made a special tribute to the women who have been instrumental in his life during the brief recognition ceremony. He acknowledged the vital role that women play in society and the importance of making sure that they are protected, cared for and achieve equity in a man’s world.
Acting Permanent Secretary, Ms. Tasha Bertie shared statistics that indicated women are more affected by climate change globally than men are, and that 80% of women and girls around the world are displaced due to climate change.
Ms. Bertie also brought to light the many hardships that many women face. “Women are forced to seek help and financial resources to facilitate the continuous operations of their homes and the survival of their children, sometimes at the detriment of facing increased incidences of violence, including sexual assault and verbal and physical abuse,” she said, adding, “This is all in an effort to survive. These debilitating factors give credence to support why women and girls should be involved and assisted to make changes and decisions on climate change.”
The recipients were presented yellow roses complements of the Zonta Club of Tortola and engraved acrylic plaques from the Office of Gender Affairs as tokens of appreciation.
International Women’s Day is observed annually on March 8 and is a day to acknowledge and commemorate the cultural, political, and socioeconomic achievements of women and bring attention to several issues such as gender equality, reproductive rights, violence and abuse against women.
The Government of the Virgin Islands is committed to improving the health and well-being of the people of the Virgin Islands.