Ten awardees honored by government for International Women’s Day

Awardees sitting in the front row at the ceremony

As Dominica joined the rest of the world to celebrate International Women’s Day on Wednesday, 10 caregivers were awarded and commended for their hard work throughout the Covid-19 Pandemic.

The awards were made possible by the Ministry of Health, Wellness and Social Services via the Bureau of Gender Affairs and were presented to the awardees at the official Exceptional Women Awards ceremony held at the State House Conference Center.

The awardees are Managing Director of CHANCES, Jenny Honore, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Premium Home and Residential Care Services (PHARCS), Marie Therese Junkere, Director of the Dominica Infirmary, Clannis Jno. Baptiste, Owner/Manager of New Age Residential Care, Janillia Royer, Manager of House of Hope, Agnes Joseph, Managing Director of Mahaut Senior Citizens Home, Nathalie Sampson, Administrator of Northern District Home for the Aged, Joea Patrick, Managing Director of GROTTO, Angela Dewhurst, Proprietor/Owner of Agape Care Nursing Home, Wilma Esprit and Manager of RF Home, Antonia Yankey.

A special leadership award in digital transformation was also presented to Dr. Jermaine Jean-Pierre.

“The government saw it necessary to award and commend caregivers across the island for their hard work throughout the Covid-19 Pandemic,” Director of the Bureau of Gender Affairs, Melissa Morgan said. “For the exceptional Women’s Award 2023, we will be awarding and rewarding women who have made a significant contribution to transformative technology, but more so to women who have played their part during the Covid Pandemic by providing care to the most vulnerable among us.”

She continued, “Today we are going to award and honour the amazing women in our lives on this International Women’s Day.”

Morgan added, “Let’s express our gratitude for their efforts and commitment to making the world a better place.”

This year International Women’s Day is celebrated under the theme: “DigitALL: Innovation and technology for gender equality”.

Morgan explained that the theme aims to recognize and celebrate the contribution women and girls are making in technology and online education.

“It is celebrated every year on March 8th worldwide, commemorating the political, social, and economic achievement of women,” she stated. “The Ministry of Health, Wellness and Social Services via the Bureau of Gender Affairs uses International Women’s Day to assess progress made towards the achievement of sustainable development goal five, achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls.”

She said the theme speaks to recognizing the digital economy by opening new doors for the global empowerment of women, girls, and marginalized groups.

Morgan believes that empowerment of women should begin at the home by encouraging mothers, sisters, wives, and daughters to pursue their dreams and excel in their careers.

Furthermore, she pointed out that one of the significant national achievements over the past year includes the launch and implementation of national communication and behavioral change strategy to strengthen gender equality mainstreaming, and national-level decision-making for climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction for Dominica. This is funded by United Nations (UN) women.

“In Dominica, we have made significant progress in raising economic empowerment, political participation, leadership, and decision-making power,” she noted.

Meanwhile, Minister of State in the Ministry of Health, Wellness, and Social Services, with special responsibility for Seniors Security, Dr. Cassandra Williams said she is elated that the government has decided to use this observance to highlight caregivers who have played a critical role in caring for the most vulnerable.

“This comes on the heels of our experiences with the Covid-19 Pandemic…,” she said. “Our caregivers were at the forefront of the fight to contain the spread of this deadly disease.”

Dr. Williams said Covid-19 disrupted people’s lives across the world due to its rapid spread, high mortality rate, a complete change of social habits, and its accountable economic impact.

“The government recognizes that caregivers experienced higher than usual stress, fatigue, and emotional burden during the Covid emergency-,” she remarked. “Caregiving tasks became more challenging, families were unable to visit residents to provide essential support which increased caregivers’ concern about the deteriorating mental health of residents, because of prolonged social isolation.”

She mentioned also that, specifically, the government recognizes that care home facilities would be of high risk due to the age of residents and the virus’s disproportionate effect on both seniors and individuals with pre-existing conditions.

“We recognize that you had to do more,” Dr. Williams noted. “You are the backbone of long-term residential care for our most vulnerable, the population that needs more care.”

She continued, “The government recognizes that caregivers were one of the unsung heroes during the pandemic and find it a befitting time to celebrate your contribution in response to the Covid-19 Pandemic.”

Dr. Williams added, “Awardees today we celebrate you and your sustained commitment to providing quality care for the elderly. The extra effort you had to put in during the Covid-19 lockdown and, some of you, Post-Hurricane Maria has not gone unnoticed. Today, this award is not only for you, but your teams and family who supported you through those times.”

Dr. Williams hopes this serves as a motivation for other young women who may be considering a career in providing quality care and services.

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  1. Marty
    March 11, 2023

    Look at all these shameless individuals. It’s a who is who of the cabal and braying labour supporters!!!

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0
  2. Martha
    March 9, 2023

    Let me guess… all Skerrit supporters.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 0
  3. Skerro
    March 9, 2023

    Congrats to all you lovely ladies blessings

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 0 Thumb down 11
  4. Observing
    March 9, 2023

    Three women on the opposing side in Parliament and not one invited to this activity for world women’s day. More things change more it stays the same. I like the Reset.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 0

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