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Women's Day Message 2010: "Equal rights, Equal opportunity, Progress for all"

Mon, 08 March 2010

For the year 2010, the International Women’s Day is based on the theme of Equality of Women and their empowerment.

We celebrate the fact that Seychellois women have always seized their destiny in their own hands in order to help build a more prosperous Seychelles.

Our women have made great progress and they have reasons to be proud of their achievements. The Seychellois women have access to Education, the health service, the opportunity to work and they are also leaders in their communities, in politics, sports, education and management. We also acknowledge the strength of those women entrepreneurs who have created many small businesses which have helped to enhance our economy.

Even before Independence, our women have always moved with determination to guarantee their rights, to struggle for Independence and also to work to strengthen the bonds of the Seychellois family.

Today, as we celebrate the International Women’s day, we tend to think that the struggle for equality of opportunity is over and our women can rest and enjoy their achievements.

Our Constitution stipulates equality between men and women, and it safeguards the rights of women. We are proud that the Seychellois women have broken all the barriers which existed.

However, the struggle continues. There is still a lot to be done to ensure that our daughters, sisters and wives live in a safe environment, where they can develop their potentials for education, employment and their ability to raise a family.

Let’s not forget that there are many women in our society with social problems and thus their dignity and rights are at risk. Many women are in vulnerable positions. We have to work together to give them the support they need. In the face of prostitution, women are being treated like objects to be exploited and they become vulnerable to abuse.

With domestic violence women are humiliated and beaten up in their own homes. Drug abuse has driven women into the slavery of the drug dealers. Those scourges have severely affected the ability of women to gain access to equal opportunities and to create a family.

Women are getting together in their community to stand up against abuse and violence and they are encouraging those who are suffering to defend themselves and to become stronger to overcome their difficult situation.

When they struggle against those social ills, women struggle for their dignity and to defend their rights. The best way to do this is to strengthen the family. We need strong and stable families, with strong women, who can defend themselves and support other women achieve their dreams for a better life for themselves and their children.

Our mothers and grandmothers have worked hard to give the Seychellois women that foundation for equality with the men, the Seychellois women today must continue to build on this foundation.

The Seychellois women have proved that they are ready for today and also for tomorrow. As they have done in the past, the Seychellois women must continue to turn challenges into opportunities to create equal rights, opportunities and progress for all. The People of Seychelles is giving them all the support to advance and bring Seychelles to greater heights.

We all come together to protect your rights, your opportunities and to ensure your progress.

I wish all Seychellois women a happy Women’s Day.

 

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