International Women’s Day (IWD) is marked on March 8 every year. In different regions the focus of the celebrations ranges from general celebration of respect, appreciation and love towards women to a celebration for women’s economic, political and social achievements.
However not everywhere women are valued and revered for who they are and how they contribute to society. We still find that women worldwide struggle with discrimination, oppression and out casting. Women are still the victims of abuse and violence. As a society, we must strive to eradicate this.
The Minister of Education, Culture, Youth and Sports Affairs wishes to extend congratulations to all women around the world on this day, but most especially to the women of St. Maarten.
St. Maarten is known today for its strong women, and has been identified throughout history as Oualichi – land of Strong women by some of its earliest inhabitants.
Though there are many women that come to mind on this day, Minister Jacobs expressed the need to single out Women who contribute to society on a daily basis as mothers, nurturers, caretakers, teachers, nurses, social workers and in all areas that help our children to grow and become productive members of our society.
These women are sometimes forgotten in our awards ceremonies and speeches.
Minister Jacobs: "Today, I commend you all. I especially commend the women who have inspired me throughout my life: "My mother, Nadia Bryson-Willemsberg, Mavis Brooks-Salmon, Milva Hoeve-Job, my many aunts, Clara Reyes, and also younger women such as Rita Bourne-Gumbs, Nicole de Weever and my very own daughter Nichelle who has inspired me so much.
"Women have come a long way through history, from walking one step behind the men and being subservient to men – to being leaders in our society, our governments and also the stronghold of the family.
"Today on International Women’s day, I congratulate you all, and heap all the glory and praise on all of you as you continue to lead, sacrifice and contribute to the growth and development of your families."