Women on St. Maarten! Let’s continue to “Make It Happen”. Without us, our families and community would fall apart. Our abilities are infinite, and the result of our exhausted energies generate great value to the world at large. We have all accomplished great things, nevertheless there are still women, who are not being allowed to express themselves freely, and are prone to violence under varying circumstances. So there is still a long way to go, despite our celebration. There are way too many women being dishonored locally and around the world, and it has to stop. However, despite those setbacks, we must be thankful for reasons to celebrate our progress in society.
Women on St. Maarten! Let’s energize our spirits and celebrate everything our local and international women have achieved, especially taking time to acknowledge our dear mothers.
St. Maarten women are off to a great start for feminine milestones; At almost all award ceremonies, it is evident that women have and continue to make their mark in our society and even internationally. Just to bring a few to light: 9 out of the 17 recipients of the Crystal Pineapple Awards are all women. At the Ritz Carlton Hotel at Battery Park, New York, Dr. Rachnilda Lynch-Arduin, the Ombudsman of St. Maarten was the recipient of the Woman of Great Esteem Emerald Award and also awarded the Emerald Award of Excellence among international women. Member of Parliament Sarah Wescott-Williams was St. Maarten’s first Prime Minister, and is known for many other achievements. Nicole Chantal de Weever received the lifetime achievement award of Douglas Watt for best female Dancer in the esteemed group “Fela”. Tamara Leonard, made herself a local Icon for feminine endurance, Psychological-strength, bravery and unwavering faith, as she shared with the world, her passionate determination to transform herself from victim to victor of the dreaded cancer disease. These are just some of our local women who have publicly inspired all of our local generation of both men and women.
As we reflect and make a comparison to several years ago; the number of women in St. Maarten’s politics has grown significantly, and the number of women holding key positions in Government organizations, the media and within the private sector, is increasingly noteworthy.
There are other numerous achievements of our local women and even though I haven’t mentioned your name, you all know who you are; we therefore take pride in saluting you with dignity, pride and respect. I take this opportunity to advise the young women of St. Maarten, to learn more about the reasons why these incredible women have received honors, so that they themselves can someday be mentioned in the History books.
I encourage our young women to “Make It Happen”. Get creative! Maybe you want to improve economic gender equality. Maybe you want to study in a field traditionally dominated by men. Maybe you’re passionate about improving issues affecting St. Maarten’s women. Get passionate, get proactive, and “Make it happen”.
International Women’s Day is the perfect day to get decked out in fabulous purple! It is known as a feminist color. It symbolizes justice and dignity; two values strongly associated with women’s equality. So wear it as you see it fit for relevant occasions.
For profound significance and empowerment to women in St. Maarten, I seek to also make the month of March known officially as Women’s History Month. This will be elaborated on at a later time. May God continue to Bless us all and Bless St. Maarten.