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Message from President James Michel for International Women’s Day, 8th March 2015

Fri, 06 March 2015

“Empowering Women, Empowering Humanity: Picture it”

We commemorate International Women’s Day this year on the milestone anniversary of the signing of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action for realizing women’s rights. Seychelles was among 189 countries which reaffirmed their commitments to equal rights and inherent human dignity.

This historic road map of 1995 today remains a powerful source of guidance and inspiration.  It is a visionary agenda for realizing women’s rights everywhere in the world. It has encouraged countries, including Seychelles, to translate promises into action. It is contributing to the elimination of discrimination against women and the achievement of gender equality in all areas of life.

In Seychelles, whilst we are aware of the persisting challenges such as gender-based violence, substance abuse, teenage pregnancy and single-parent households, which we have to address as a society, we are living the reality of greater gender equality. We see and experience the results of equal rights every day. Promoting and upholding equal rights for all our citizens is the way of life in our modern Seychelles.

Today, thanks to the vision and commitment of government, our women and men are equal partners in development. We, for example,  achieved universal primary education -- free and compulsory up to S4 -- long before  2015, the year the United Nations set as the target date for accomplishing millennium goals. Education has become our most important tool in empowering our women.

Education, therefore, helped us to meet the other millennium goal of closing gender gaps and women empowerment.

On International Women’s Day 2015 we are also happy to be celebrating our millennium goals accomplishments.   

Today, we not only picture an empowered Seychellois woman but look up to her. This woman already exists. She is our loving mother, the strong and dedicated human being who is the centre of family life. She is our faithful companion, an ever present source of love and comfort. She is our sister -- the proud and caring individual we know we can count on. She is our colleague at work, contributing enormously to the advancement of our nation. This empowered woman is a leader, an artist, entertainer, sportsperson, teacher, judge, lawyer, medical doctor, nurse, pilot, bus driver, skipper, investor and businesswoman.  The empowered women are in all sectors in the progressive Seychelles, making wise choices for themselves, their families, their beloved country, and humanity.

This is the Seychellois woman of today, the pride of our country. On this International Women’s Day, we appreciate and celebrate the progress of our Seychellois women. They are making a huge difference in the life of our nation.  Together we are now more able to build the New Seychelles.

I wish all women in Seychelles a happy and enjoyable day. Our country is proud of all of you.

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