March 13, 2009
Eight women honoured for International Women’s Day

Celebrating under the theme “Women and Men united together to fight violence against women and girls,” International Women’s Day was celebrated locally on Sunday, March 8, with a panel discussion held at the Prime Minister’s residence.{{more}}

Chaired by LaFerne Cato, the event saw presentations from panellists Michelle Fife, Desiree Richards, Patsy Wyllie, Vonnie Roudette and Elsie Frederick, who spoke on Women and Spirituality, Women and Management, Women and Health, Women and the Arts, and Women at Home and in the Work Place, respectively.

By far, the best-received address of the evening, came from Elsie Frederick, wife of Pastor George Frederick, who delivered a lively presentation about the under appreciation of a woman’s role in society, especially at home and in the workplace. She spoke of the pressures that women often face to live up to the standards that a male-dominated society have imposed.

Frederick also implored women to be supportive of each other because strength lies in unity, and in order to overcome injustices placed against women, we must unite.

In her address, Lawyer Michelle Fife emphasised the roles that religion and faith in God play in a woman’s life. Fife also challenged her all-female audience to place God in every aspect of their lives.

Managing Director of Metrocint General Insurance Company Ltd and the Vincentian Newspaper Desiree Richards highlighted the need to encourage a sense of enterprise in young women. She explained that the world is a rapidly changing place, therefore, women need to keep abreast of current happenings. “Management transcends into just about everything that we do… never stop learning!”

Vonnie Roudette, lecturer in Art at the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Community College, related that within the Arts women find it more difficult to achieve recognition, as compared to their male counterparts. She further expressed that the Arts are often trivialised and beseeched her audience to recognise and appreciate its value to culture and history.

Patsy Wyllie, Health Educator in the Ministry of Health and the Environment, spoke about the detrimental effect of disease, both communicable and non-communicable, on women and by extension, their families. She encouraged women to be vigilant about their health and well-being, as it has implications for all sectors of society.

Additionally, eight women were awarded for the good work they had contributed over the years in their chosen professions. They are: Mabel Nelson, retiree and foster mother; Noreen Browne, Office Attendant in the Ministry of Transport and Works; Lorette Culzac, Office Attendant in the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning; Miriam Williams, employee at Elite Security Service; Asha Wickham, employee at Guardsman; Viola Peters, Sanitation Worker in the Ministry of Health and the Environment, Veronica Johnney, Vendor, and Fisherwoman Theresa Kydd.

The Prime Minister’s wife Eloise Gonsalves hosted the event. (JSV)