The day was commemorated on 8th March, and was the centennial observance, having been instituted in 1911.
Minister Liburd, in delivering the address, explained that because women are the backbone of the nation, St. Kitts Nevis adopted Canada’s International Women’s Day theme, “Strong Leadership, Strong Women, Strong World.”
“…There is an African proverb which says “show me a nation’s women and I’ll show you a nation’s future…
“When we consider that approximately ½ of our households are headed by single mothers, we recognise that the strength of a woman is at the centre of nation building. In nearly all households, women are responsible for preparing meals and doing other household chores, ensuring that the children go to school and church, and organising family events. The decisions made by women on a daily basis are critical to the development of our nation.”
Minister Liburd, who also serves as the Minister of Health, suggested that the task of women is great and vital in determining the qualities and standards which would characterise St. Kitts and Nevis.
“In carrying out these responsibilities, we must ask ourselves, ‘Are we cooking healthy meals for our families so that we can reduce the risk of chronic diseases like diabetes, hypertension and cancer?’ Are we ensuring that our children stay focussed on their school work? Are we encouraging our children’s participation in groups that shape their positive development? Do we know who our children’s friends are? Are we instilling the right family values in our children?’ The answers to these questions will in large measure, determine the quality and the future of our nation.”
In paying tribute to the women of St. Kitts and Nevis, Minister Liburd made specific mention of “our nurses, and the auxiliary staff at our health institutions, cooks, maids, and laundry workers, to our teachers who are mostly women, to our women in manufacturing on the industrial estates, to our many women in micro businesses from trays to small shops, to the women who keep our streets and the environment clean, to homemakers and caregivers all across the federation. You deserve our commendation for your hard work and commitment. We must never take your contribution to nation building for granted.
“I exhort you to have confidence and courage of Queen Esther as recounted in the Bible as you continue to build more productive businesses, safer communities, healthy and stable children and families and a stronger nation.”