Thirteen ‘exceptional’ Dominican women awarded

Some of the awardees

Thirteen Dominican women were recognized at the Exceptional Women’s Award Ceremony held at the Old Mill Cultural Centre on Wednesday night.

The ceremony, organized by the Ministry of Ecclesiastical Affairs, Family and Gender Affairs, formed part of the activities for International Women’s Day which was celebrated on Friday the 8th of March.

The award recipients were Bishop Alice Jacob and Bertha Joseph for Church and for Excellence in Agriculture – , Lilian Marcellin, Elizabeth and Sybil Alfred and Helena Williams.

Gloria Walsh and Vena Royer received the Community Development Award while Erma Lafond of Canefield, Niomi John of Goodwill and Police Officer, Vernelle Shillingford received the family life awards.

President of the Dominica Cancer Society Yvonne Alexander, wife of Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit, Melissa Skerrit and Cheryl Rolle of Sagicor received the leadership awards.

One of the awardees, Niomi John said she owed her award to her contribution made to children over the years.

 “Basically I was awarded based on my contribution to some of the young children,” she said.

According to John , her sister passed her away 10 years ago and she took in her daughter.

She went on to say that because of her passion for children, the less fortunate, she does a hand-sub every year, “and I use that hand-sub to at least send one child to school”

“That is what I do on a yearly basis, that’s one of my aims,” she stated.

Childcare advocate Gloria Walsh said she was extremely happy to receive this award.

“I am feeling very elated, I must say, because it has been a long, tiring road in doing that kind of a work , but with God, all things are possible and despite of all my financial challenges, I have managed to stay afloat doing the work I have to do with the children and the youth…,”Walsh stated.   

She mentioned that at present, she continues to work with young people and said that on April 7th, they will be embarking on a beatification project.          .

“We also have another aspect of our program where we are getting the young people to volunteer in different categories,” she explained.

Dr. Kyra Paul

Meantime, Social Development Planner in the Ministry of Planning, Dr. Kyra Paul,  who was a guest speaker at the ceremony said Dominican women, like women around the world, regularly suffer violations of their human rights throughout their lives and, “most times they are unaware that they are victims or perhaps indirect perpetrators of the phenomenon by our own deportments or ignorance.”

According to her, when women almost universally have primary responsibility for unpaid household labour and family care responsibilities that restrict their abilities to participate in paid work, and even when women do work in the public space, “child birth exacerbates the wage gender gap and puts a significant dent in women’s lifetime earnings relative to other workers.”

Paul stated further that while there is a shift in school enrollment and completion for young girls, the same does not apply for boys.

“When our young boys drop out from school, abuse drugs, suffer from mental illness, are imprisoned, it affects the well-being of the entire society and the economy, and they don’t have the benefits of equality either,” she explained.

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  1. what boy
    March 17, 2019

    There are many GROWN women throughout various communities who serve well, whether labour, freedom, uwp, etc… These Exceptional women and their long years of service cannot be compared to young women who just arrived on the scene. I have nothing against any of the 13. But the criteria for this recognition baffles me. If you feel you are exceptional to receive such an award, instead of others who were overlooked despite their hard work, then this award means nothing. Being exceptional could also be refusing to accept what you did not earn. Politics in Dominica is very unjust, we are so blinded by prestige and eager to please that we forget how to be humble.

  2. Micky
    March 16, 2019

    This woman has no shame! That’s all there is to it.

  3. Stupes
    March 15, 2019

    I wonder: Will Melissa serve in the parliament as an opposition member if she wins the Roseau central seat but Labour Party doesn’t win the elections

    I am always in awe that some labourites do not see the members of the current opposition as being “for country” or “Patriotic” when a few of them have served the longest in opposition; a very difficult, demanding and in the current state of Dominica politics – demeaning position to be in.

    Yet they worship and praise the government members (who have been paid large salaries an other benefits from the day they entered their offices) who have never sacrificed for country by being in opposition and continuing to serve the country.

    Should Labour Party Lose the next election : Will Mr Skerrit seat in an opposition seat as leader of the opposition, Reginald austrie, blackmoore? I have a hard time believing that any of these so called patriots will be willing to seat in the opposition seat if they are not in power.

    • %
      March 15, 2019

      Melissa won’t,Roosevelt Skerrit won’t, Reggie Won’t , Blackmore won’t and some of the 13 novices won’t .They Will leave for Ian to struggle and rebuild, while he is singing “”I Shall not be Moved””. When he takes too much of what is in the bottle,he will start disclosing whatever he know about Skerrit .
      Remember what he said about Skerrit and what he does behind your back? Labour will now stay in the cold for another 20 to 25years!!!Mark my words!
      Skerrit Must Go
      Skerrit Must Go
      LAZY LOUSY Skerrit Must Go Now

  4. carlty
    March 15, 2019

    Let me just say, I hope this comment is seen amongst all the negatives.

    CONGRATULATIONS TO ALL THE WOMEN!! I know how difficult it is for women to be entrepreneurs, advocates, managers and all other leading positions when and serve a role as a mother, caretaker, supporter etc.
    Congratulations ladies.

    • Stupes
      March 15, 2019

      Pointing out the obvious is not being negative!

      It can indeed be difficult for women to be entrepreneurs, advocates, managers while serving as mothers, caretakers, supporters etc. Many of them do it without seeking praise and glory, many of them do it without the help of husbands, state resources, family money etc – those women I certainly am proud of. I am very proud of women who sacrifice daily, who have come from challenging backgrounds and gone on to excel. I am certainly not going to scream and shout about women who are merely important by association, whose only claim to fame is spending family or husbands money.

      Kudos to the unsung heroes who go about their day to day lives assisting and sacrificing for others without cameras, without creating illusions of being caring. Kudos especially to those who have done that “all their life” not for 5 minutes to seal their political ambitions.

    • Mother
      March 15, 2019

      Judging by the comments it appears that the inclusion of Melissa Skerrit puts the focus on her in a negative way and takes away from the achievements of the other ladies.

      • carlty
        March 18, 2019

        Standing ovation to you. This is what I am saying. Point out the obvious okay kool. Point out who you think may have been left out. But don’t forget to congratulate these women. Often times we allow politics and partisanship to overshadow the positive aspects of everything that it is not right. I see DNO post some very positive articles on person’s achievement and there are little to no feedback on there. It is hard to comprehend. Even under this post. We should be giving suggestions, congratulations etc.. but the feedback level is low.

  5. Robin
    March 15, 2019

    Look it, a who is who of Skerrit worshippers. How pathetic and distasteful!

  6. Look It
    March 15, 2019

    How many new candidates Skerro throw on us again?????

    The number 13 is symbolic of rebellion and lawlessness. Nimrod, the mighty hunter who was ‘before the Lord’ (meaning he tried to take the place of God – Genesis 10:9), was the 13th in Ham’s line (Ham was one of Noah’s three sons who survived the flood). Thirteen represents all the governments created by men, and inspired by SATAN, in outright rebellion against the Eternal.

    The phrase ‘valley of Hinnom’ (or variation thereof) occurs in 13 places in Scripture. The valley was the scene of the evil-inspired rites of the pagan god Moloch (or Molech). The practices related to this false deity received some credibility when they were knowingly allowed by King Solomon (1Kings 11:7) in order to please his non-Israelite wives.

  7. Think for YOURSELF
    March 15, 2019

    I hope everyone know this is just some political ploy to PUSH Melissa down people’s throat.

    What leadership skills has Melissa demonstrated?????? PLEASE SOMEONE TELL ME HOW SHE HAS DEMONSTRATED ANY LEADERSHIP SKILLS.
    Creative skills maybe, because of that carnival band….. MAYBE and a big MAYBE humanitarian efforts, because of the the school feeding programme…..BUT LEADERSHIP????? come on!!!!!

  8. me
    March 15, 2019

    Min of gender affairs yet I’ve never heard of anything being done for international men’s day no award services nothing

  9. Pipo
    March 15, 2019

    I am waiting for Melissa to be canonise next. What has she done for the country except handing out money that is not her own. Honest, no sour grapes but this is ridiculous and cheap. Definitely a campaign to put her on a pedestal like another Evita Peron or Imelda Marcos just because she is the P.M. wife?

    • Pipo
      March 15, 2019

      Well, the plan is for her to win Roseau central and then become P.M. and Roosevelt to move up to President. The guy that wins Veille Case for UWP will simply cross to DLP, that is not new. Then Melissa can be in charge with Roosevelt instructing her what to do. Constitution does not have to change and Roosevelt can not be prosecuted for any crime. President is immune. Is not me that make that scenario, I’m not devilish enough for that, but somebody in government tell me that. But I’m saying they must win the election first.

  10. Legion
    March 15, 2019

    So marrying the Prime minister makes a woman ‘exceptional’? Giving Melissa this award insults the other worthy recipients.

    • truthful
      March 15, 2019

      To me how i see it, the people with the biggest salaries are the exceptional women. Those who profiting the most. The place is just bias.

    • Me
      March 16, 2019

      Perhaps……..who else would put up with him?

  11. Ras B
    March 15, 2019

    According to her, when women almost universally have primary responsibility for unpaid household labour and family care responsibilities that restrict their abilities to participate in paid work, and even when women do work in the public space, “child birth exacerbates the wage gender gap and puts a significant dent in women’s lifetime earnings relative to other workers.”

    Dr Paul, Why do guest speakers talk so much rubbish? Could you please help my ignorance? What are you advocating? An end to society as we know it or role reversal, asking the men to bear children, a physiological impossibility!! Instead what you should be clamoring for and use your platform to provide is a cogent argument for wage parity for equally qualified women and men performing the same tasks, not quarreling about a woman’s potential lifetime earnings and how it is affected by child bearing!!!!

    • Positive Male
      March 15, 2019

      Ras B why don’t you google women and unpaid labour and you will see what Dr. Paul is talking about. Also google gender roles, why don’t you also look up gender discrimination in society. No one is asking men to bear children however a man equality taking part in parenting and caring for the child/ children is what gender balance looks like.

  12. Ti Garcon
    March 14, 2019

    So every little thing in the country is politics? Every little thing?!?

    What Ma Skerrit getting award for? To boost her CV? She doe have a little shame for her to say, ok i have some class, there are people who are more deserving so I’ll not play some cheap politricks. But no, she just couldnt resist.

    • Pipo
      March 15, 2019

      Don’t know about class Ti Boy. Ask about her previous life in the Big Apple. Make mine a double miss!

    • Paul Rossnof
      March 15, 2019

      You know what, others are only thinking it but I tell you how it is: ‘Ma Skerrit is an opportunist, the same way her husband is! Actually an other phrase also comes to mind: gold digger. Now I want to hear the chief labour apologists…

  13. Self
    March 14, 2019

    To those who ask why everything has to be political, that’s the reason. the government of Dominica not only makes everything political but labour party political. why should the wife of the prime minister be getting an award from the government? just recently her father received an award, her husband was awarded twice. why are these people so award driven? Take all your awards but the people of Roseau will certainly not be awarding you. Blessings to all those who truly deserve awards.

  14. %
    March 14, 2019

    What was the criteria?
    What were the areas of excellence?
    That was a political event man?
    Can anyone tell or name me a teacher or nurse on this list? So Dominica has (subject to correction) 0% phenomenal female teacher or nurse..These are the two categories of employees or the two professions catching their tail under this Skerrit led administration the most, and you are putting in on my screen Melissa Skerrit ? Who is she? Pure political campaigning by the Minister,but the Roseau Central people ,,(very smart people),know how to vote..
    Skerrit Must Go
    Skerrit Must Go
    LAZY Skerrit Must Go Now

  15. Whatever!!
    March 14, 2019

    please enlighten me someone… Why is Melissa among those esteemed women who have actually make a big difference in their various capacities given their limited resources? These women have sacrificed and worked hard and as such can be seen as exceptional leaders in their respective communities and country by extension. Melissa has never raised any moneys through her foundation to support her school feeding program, hampers to pregnant mothers or any of her initiatives. We all know where the money comes from. What has she done over the years to warrant such a prestigious title? We need to stop mixing politics in everything in this country and be genuine with our intentions.

  16. kermit
    March 14, 2019

    So much people that has been working so hard over the years to have one recipient receive an award is an insult boy let me hush eh

    • ????????????
      March 14, 2019

      Kermit go back and read the article twice. I do not know where you read about one recipient.

      • kermit
        March 14, 2019

        So busy to talk I am talking about a certain recipient receiving an award and the others put in hard work.

      • kermit
        March 14, 2019

        I meant to say a certain one recipient receive such an award when the others have been working so hard.

  17. Op
    March 14, 2019

    Congratulations to the women who deserved it. Many have given their life to helping others.

    I fail to see what makes mellissa exceptional though, besides being the PM wife and having everythings handed to her, what has she done that makes her exceptional? She like many others merely live off the work of others…first her parents (its they who started the businesses) and now her husband ( the monies she gets to play charitable with, etc).

    I would have liked to see Dr Hazel shillingford Ricketts on there, dr Rhonda McIntyre etc. Women who are accomplished and have proved themselves in their profession and family life. They are worthy of emulating and celebrating. Not new comers who are merely doing what they need to do to secure their political aspirations.

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