Basseterre, St. Kitts, March 10, 2021 (SKNIS): March 9, 2021, marked the official opening of the St. Kitts Pioneering Women’s Gallery within the Ministry of Social Development and Gender Affairs where six ground-breaking women were inducted. The event took place at the building of the Ministry of Social Development and Gender Affairs on Victoria Road, Basseterre.
These women include Mercelyn Hughes, the first female chief immigration officer; Dr. Naudica Philip, first female pathologist; Dr. Marissa Grant-Tate, first female oncologist; Mrs. Sonia Boddie-Thompson, the first female clerk of the National Assembly; Karisia Willett, first female senior calypso monarch; and Meritza Williams, the first female to receive a medal at the Carifta Games.
Speaking at the ceremony, Janelle Lewis-Tafari, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Social Development and Gender Affairs, said that as the theme for this year’s International Women’s Day focuses on leadership, it was an opportune time to display to the Federation those women who have been trailblazers.
She added that these women have shown the nation that women are capable of anything that they set their mind and talent to.
“These are women who broke the proverbial glass ceiling,” she said. “They are an inspiration to others.”
Permanent Secretary Lewis-Tafari said that women who achieve firsts in the Federation must be acknowledged and celebrated.
“This is important. Our children who are coming up, both our boys and our girls, need to see strong women,” she said. “Women who are from similar circumstances, the same country. This is so that our little girls can understand that regardless of what challenges they are experiencing, there is hope, you can accomplish, you can achieve.”
Minister of Social Development and Gender Affairs, the Honourable Eugene Hamilton, who also spoke at the event, said that the event showcases the immense talent and skills of women and how far they have come in St. Kitts and Nevis.