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(PRESS RELEASE) – Today October 11th, 2018, marks the annual celebration of the International Day of the Girl. Saint Lucia joins the rest of the world in celebrating this important day under the theme “With Her: A Skilled Girl Force.”
International Day of the Girl seeks to highlight and address the needs and challenges that girls face, while promoting girls’ empowerment and the critical fulfillment of their human rights. By joining the United Nations in this celebration, we in Saint Lucia are continuing to recommit to supporting young girls as they inspire themselves and others to take charge of their own future.
This year’s theme, specifically resonates with the achievements and strides that have been made collectively in our Saint Lucian society. Evidence of this can be seen through the involvement of girls in Science, Technology, Engineering, Agriculture and Mathematics (STEAM).
This demonstrates a shifting paradigm where girls are breaking down barriers from a young age as well as entering fields and spaces that were traditionally male dominated: a positive step towards promoting and sustaining gender equality. We look forward to this trend translating to gender parity in the highest level of decision-making in St. Lucia in the coming years.
The theme “With Her: A Skilled Girl Force”, speaks to today’s girls, the future labour-force, who advance into a transformational world of work of much innovation and automation. The growing demand for new skills in the workforce must cause us to reflect on the much-needed expansion for learning opportunities for girls as well as boys to charter pathways that enable them to have greater career opportunities.
The predominance of female participants at the launching of the Fun, Robotics Hackathon demonstrates how young girls in St. Lucia are challenging gender-based stereotypes and social norms. This, incidentally is occurring at a time when the Honorable Minister Dr. Gale TC Rigobert is the (female) Minister responsible for Education, Innovation, Gender Relations and Sustainable Development. Our girls have living examples of women who have challenged those gender-based stereotypes and are living proof of the increasing career opportunities for girls who gain skills in any area of their choice.