International Women's Day 2012


Solidarity Message to My Fellow Women Parliamentarians
by the CWP Chair, the Hon. Alix Boyd Knights, MHA

I always regard International Women's Day as a day of reflection, retrospection and assessment, to see what gains and/or losses women of my country, my region and the world have made over the past year, particularly when viewed against the backdrop of the Millenium Development Goals. Even as I write, the United Nations' 56th session on the Status of Women is meeting and representatives of member states,UN entities and NGO's from all regions of the world are attending. Soon from now we will be told exactly how women have fared internationally over the past year.

This year, the theme for IWD observances is: Connecting Girls, Inspiring Futures. However, I feel it would not be out of place to insert: Linking Generations. I think my addition is appropriate as the older generation, representing the past as they do, must link with the girls. We aim to connect together to learn what it was like for women so many years ago and be the inspiration of "who changed what was to where we are" and therefore help to forge that bright future for our girls.

As I write this, I can't help wondering what the pioners of the women's movement of the 1920s, "The Suffragettes" as they came to be known, would have to say if they could return to this Earth for just one day. I would tell them:

  • about the Bejing Conference
  • about the Millenium Development Goals
  • about the crack in the glass ceiling (now that women are firmly part of the corporate world)
  • of the many female Prime Ministers the world has seen
  • about the many women who now are in Parliament all over the world (of course I would mention Rwanda in particular) and
  • The United Nations setting up so many bodies within its structure to deal with the development of women, including International Women's Day.

I could go on and on, but I would stress to them, there is much to be done still and I would ask them to inspire us so that we can continue the work that they started. To my fellow CWP Members, would they not be proud of us? Would we be able to convince them that we have given a good account of our stewardship thus far? I think we would be able to.

And so with these few words, I would like to wish women of the Commonwealth and the rest of the world a happy, fruitful, inspiring and eventful International Women's Day.

Hon. Alix Boyd Knights, CWP Chairperson