Terisa Lewis (left), Zephra Baron

Terisa Lewis (left), Zethra Baron

Two more contestants who will vie for the 2017 National Queen Title were launched over the past weekend.

Zethra Baron, 22 of Fond St Jean representing the South was launched in her village on Sunday, while Terisa Lewis, Miss Step Up Nutrition & Caribbean Association of Fire Fighters was launched in Bath Estate on Saturday.

Baron said in her journey to the throne she has chosen to highlight gender equity and empowering men for a well-balanced society.

“I have realized that whilst our young women are rising up the rank many of our young men are being forgotten,” she said during the launch. “Who will our successful women marry? Who will our children call daddy , something not only to think about but, act upon immediately. Men who are strong and assertive as well as caring and connected, men who will benefit our love ones, schools, workplaces, the nation and the world,” she stated.

She continued, “Gender is a system and both women and men who are integral parts of this system, if we want to see meaningful change both men and women are implicated.”

Baron went on to say that it is not enough to enlighten women and expect men to follow,

“If the men can’t achieve and don’t conform to societal expectations they are often socially sanctioned, belittled or ridiculed,” she remarked. “Challenging norms and behaviours is thus a collective challenge for men. It is also a challenge for women who consciously or unconsciously often perpetuate these same social norms in the way they raise their sons or interact with men.”

Lewis said she is proud to champion the cause of special education, an aspect of the country’s educational system that is vital to the development of children.

She pointed out that as a teacher she see the need of funding and maintaining of special education programmes in all schools in Dominica, especially at the primary level.

“When every child has been duly cared for in the education system, then we can rest easy knowing that we have given them the best chance in life,” Lewis explained. “It is important to note that it is not just a onetime case, special education is an ongoing endeavour as each generation of children have.”

She mentioned that the memory of her late father Clifton “Cocotea” Lewis who loss his life during the passage of Tropical Storm Erika on August 27, 2015, is what drives her to be the best person that she can be.

“A scholarship is always nice, a nice thing to have, but I firmly believe that paying homage to the great man who was ‘Cocotea’ is more important,” she stressed. “A man of culture, a man of music, a man of community. My father gives me strength even in spirit and I am grateful that he helped me become the woman that I am today.”

See photos below. All photos by Chad Ambo/Ambo Visuals

Terisa Lewis

Zepthra Baron