Giving the full support of her Ministry in this venture, the lone female Cabinet member gave a commitment to working closely with the St. Kitts-Nevis Football Association and the Women’s committee to create a new avenue for the advancement of women and girls in St. Kitts and Nevis and indeed in the Caribbean.
It was also announced, that between now and 2016, there will be the introduction of women’s football into the schools’ sports programme, in the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis. They hope to forge a link with the Department of Social and Community Development and the Grassroots Programme.
The minister also encouraged the St. Kitts-Nevis Football Association Women’s Committee, to join the National Council of Women, so that it can access training in leadership and confidence-building and sensitization in handling abuse, violence against women and sexual harassment issues.
Liburd said that the Women’s Committee can liaise with the Department of Gender Affairs, which can assist in drafting a protocol for handling complaints in these areas, and by becoming a partner with the Ministry of Health, the committee can also benefit from experts in dealing with t health issues in general and those pertaining to women and girls in particular.
She also pointed out that lobbying to ensure that facilities, restrooms and dressing-rooms become more sensitive to women’s issues and liaising with the Ministry of National Security to ensure the safety and security of all women and girls.
Ms. Liburd spoke of the importance of the Ministry of Finance in working out continuing issues with respect to tax exemptions and other financial matters.
She also told participants, who were attending a three-day FIFA Women’s Com-Unity Seminar, that post-secondary education is becoming increasingly important all over the world and it is also becoming increasingly expensive.
“Scholarships, therefore, represent an important and valuable path to this goal. The development of women’s football presents young women with another opportunity to further their education while at the same time improve and master their skills and techniques in the game. They say opportunity knocks but once. Seize the moment,” she said.