Published 11 June 2022
Buckie Got It, St.Kitts and Nevis News Source
World Day of the Boy Child’ Celebrated
Basseterre, St. Kitts, 10th June, 2022 (Ministry of Social Development and Gender Affairs)–Boys were in the spotlight in May, as the Department of Gender Affairs celebrated ‘World Day of the Boy Child’ on May 16th, 2022.
A fairly new celebration, the global Observance began in 2018 as a way to highlight the value of boy children and the need to care for their physical, social and mental wellbeing. The fellow Observance, ‘World Day of the Girl Child’, was adopted by several countries in 2011 and is celebrated on October 11th annually.
Gender Field Officer in charge of the ‘men and boys’ platform, Mr. Dion Browne, explained “Since there is ‘World Day of the Girl Child’, we should ask, “what about the Boy Child?”. Boys face issues such as high school dropout rates, mental illness and so on. It was felt that for gender equality to be really recognized, both boys and girls need to part of that change”. He informed that 2022 was the first local celebration of the Day, but that it is expected to be highlighted yearly thereafter.
On May 16th, ‘World Day of the Boy Child’ opened with an address by the Honourable Minister of Social Development & Gender Affairs, Mr. Eugene Hamilton, while the Departments of Gender Affairs in St. Kitts and Nevis made joint appearances on the online television show ‘Good Morning SKN, ’to discuss the importance of ‘Building Positive Attitudes in Our Boys’. Later that week, a similar joint appearance was made on Nevis’ National Television Station (NTV) to address the topic, ‘Gender Equality: Making it a Reality for Our Boys’.
From May 30th to June 3rd, Award Ceremonies were held in seventeen (17) Primary Schools across St. Kitts, to reward boys who show exemplary values and conduct, as well as participate in school/community-based extracurricular activities. Male members of the Ministry, including Director of Gender Affairs – Mr. Virgil Jeffers, also made inspirational appearances at High Schools to encourage boys to uphold high standards of behaviour.
In light of the recent Launch of the National Gender Policy, Mr. Dion Browne indicated that the Department intends to address issues facing both genders in order to advocate for gender equality locally, adding that one of the Department’s flagship programmes, the Boys Mentorship Programme, was doing well and set to expand to the Washington Archibald High School in the near future., “I encourage everyone to see gender equality as a Man, Woman, Boy, and Girl issue. We all have to play a part in making Gender Equality a reality”, he said.