International Women's Day 2011 Message Of President James A. Michel
08 March 2011 | Gender
"Women Always Win For Seychelles"
Women of Seychelles,
The whole nation is united in the celebration of this great event that pays homage to women in our society: International Women’s Day. This year, the event takes on a special dimension because we are commemorating the 100th anniversary of the inauguration of this special day. It is for this reason that here in Seychelles we have made it into a national event and a public holiday. Let us celebrate it in dignity, and let us make it another victory for Seychelles!
This International Women’s Day is thus a big occasion, which in many respects, conveys the magnitude of our success. In its global sense, this event brings together all humanity, men and women, boys and girls, in a powerful movement to ensure that each individual has the same opportunities to develop. When our society gives women a chance to develop, we are ensuring a better future for each one of us.
Here in Seychelles, men and women enjoy the same rights. There is no discrimination. The struggle to achieve this status, however, has been long. It was in the 1960s that we began to mobilize a good part of our population and aligned ourselves with the movements which recognized and appreciated the fact that each individual in the world has his/her own potential, and that if we give them the chance, they have a valuable contribution to make towards the wellbeing of others. This was a struggle of ordinary women. These pioneers remain as inspirations to our youths. They are part of the modern history of our nation.
The recognition of the equal rights of men and women is inscribed in our constitution. It is an indissoluble law. It is a source of pride to us all; a victory for Seychelles! There are certain customs and attitudes in the world, however, that continue to obstruct the development of women and girls. Discrimination, marginalization and abuse against women are stumbling blocks for all humanity. They are barriers to progress, peace and justice. The struggle of Seychellois women is the struggle of all women across the world. It is for this reason that women in Seychelles join their sisters in the rest of the world to commemorate the International Women’s Day.
The celebration of the centenary of this day comes after a long struggle, in fact, 100 years of struggle for more equality between men and women. The commemoration of this historic event is in recognition of women’s contribution in the development of our nation. All the progress we have made in this country, especially in the social domain, benefits women.
The nucleus of every society is the family. To raise a family is a shared responsibility. The role of the mother in the family, however, remains a central one. A mother gives birth to a child and nurtures it with love and affection, and teaches it the best values, so that it grows to become a good citizen who is able to take our place in society. This is a unique role, and it is for this reason that our laws make special provisions for maternity leave and other important needs of motherhood. It is through this function that women become the strength of the family, and the strength of our nation. Many women are also part of the workforce, in addition to their roles in the home. Women today are contributing equally to our economy. It is important that they get the necessary support to continue doing this.
Our national theme for this year, â€˜Winning for Seychelles’ is in line with the United Nation’s theme for International Women’s Day, â€˜Equal access to education, training, science and technology’, as we have already had huge successes in this domain. With the help of our partners, we are investing a lot in science and technology as part of our endeavour to create a knowledge-based society. Science and technology are accessible to all Seychellois children; it prepares our young men and women for new employment opportunities that the modern world has to offer.
The commemoration of the International Women’s Day is focused on yet more victories for Seychellois women and Seychelles:
- We are creating more business opportunities, as we want more women to become entrepreneurs.
- Women are independent and determined; these are powerful values to push Seychelles forward.
- We want even more women in key positions in all sectors of our society
- We would like to see a society which is free of abuse of women
- Let us aim towards a society with less social ills, which is free of AIDS, drug free, with no alcohol abuse, and with more self-respect
- A shared responsibility between mother and father in raising children and maintaining the home
- Women’s development creates a better spirit of partnership in the home and in society. When we invest in women’s development, the positive effect on society is multiplied.
In the name of the Seychellois people, I thank all Seychellois women for all that they are doing for us. We appreciate the role you play in the different aspects of life and in the building of our nation. We should live the spirit of International Women’s Day each day of our lives.
My family joins with me in wishing you all a joyous commemoration and success in all the activities planned for the occasion and the centenary.
We pray that God watches over you always, and gives you the courage to win more victories for Seychelles.