Message By Sen. The Hon. Gloria Ann Thomas On International Women’s Day

PR – As we join with the rest of the world, in observance of International Women’s Day 2023, we  salute every woman in Grenada Carriacou and Petite Martinique. It is also a time when we  recognize and celebrate our women not only in Grenada but globally. I want to take this  opportunity to wish all the women of this tri – island State a Happy International Women’s Day. 

This year, we celebrate under the theme DigitAll: Innovation and Technology for Grenada’s Sustainable Development. The theme is consistent with the sustainable development Goal  number nine (9) Industry, Innovation and infrastructure and Grenada’s National outcomes of  an Educated, productive, highly-skilled, trained and conscious citizens and so, we must empower our  women so that they can be more active in the digital space. As we are all aware, many of our  activities depend on strong technological integration: posting on face book, sending WhatsApp  messages, calling loved ones, making a bank transaction, or booking a medical appointment, all  go through a digital process. More and more we are becoming more dependent on technology, and we must adapt to a changing world. 

According to the Global Gender Gap report 2018, 37% of women do not use the internet. 259  million fewer women have access to the Internet than men, even though they account for nearly  half the world’s population. 

If women are unable to access the Internet and do not feel safe online and are unable to develop  the necessary digital skills to engage in digital spaces, this will certainly diminish their  opportunities to pursue careers in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM).  It is projected globally, that by 2050, 75% of jobs will be related to STEM areas. Yet today,  women hold just 22% of positions in artificial intelligence, to name just one. 

And so, the Ministry of Social and Community Development, Housing and Gender Affairs has  identified the need to develop programmes to cater for our women and girls to provide  opportunity to acquire the confidence, skills, and expertise to engage in this digital space. We  are also moving speedily towards digitizing our SEED programme which will aid in efficiency  in the delivery of services. Bringing women into technology results in more creative solutions  and has greater potential for innovations that meet women’s needs and promote gender equality.  Their lack of inclusion, by contrast, comes with massive costs.

It is an undisputed fact that women play an important role in our society and nation. They  function at various levels which could be a caring mother, a daughter, a sister, a career woman,  technician, and the list goes on. Digitization will shatter the glass ceiling and allow women to  reach their fullest potential.  

The world is slowly moving towards equality for both men and women which include equal pay  for equal work. This change is necessary, and it is required around the world. We subscribe to  the fact that women are no less to that of men and so equal opportunities and respects should  be given to them.  

During the Covid 19 Pandemic, we saw that women were at the centre of the response activities;  working at many places like doctors, nurses, policewomen, sanitizers, and many other positions,  exposing themselves to the virus to provide care. In addition, women were still carrying the  burden of caring for their families. 

International Women’s Day is an amazing opportunity to remind ourselves that recognizing our  women for the role they have played and continue to play in the development of our country  is an important one. We call on every one of you to support every woman around you and  respect the contribution they make because they deserve to be recognized. This day, it is  important to show the women in our society, how much we care and love them. 

On March 8th, today, women in Grenada will be given the opportunity to showcase their skills  and expertise as we bring together technologists, innovators, entrepreneurs, and students to  provide an opportunity to showcase their products and skills. We encourage all our women to  participate and attend the National Exposition which will be held at the Trade Centre today  March 8th, 2023, and witness firsthand for themselves.  

Our government remains committed to the advancement of women in this country, and all  efforts will be made to ensure that they are provided with the opportunity to make this possible. We envisage “A nation transformed into an eco-friendly, fair, equitable, dynamic, prosperous  and stable democracy, capable of sustaining a high quality of life for all its people”. To  transform Grenada, digitisation, innovation and technology is a must. 

Happy International Women’s Day to all women. Continue to be strong, continue to be at the  forefront for change and development, continue to excel.  

We Love you all.