Seychelles takes stock of formidable achievements of its women to mark March 8 celebration
In a message for International Women’s Day on March 8, the President of Seychelles, Wavel Ramkalawan, commented on the United Nation’s theme for this year, which is “Gender Equality today for a sustainable tomorrow.”
Ramkalawan said the theme “allows us to reflect on the contribution of women in Seychelles and across the globe in the fight against one of the greatest threats to our sustainable tomorrow – climate change.”
Seychelles, even as a small country has seen women who are leaders in voluntary climate action campaigns and groups, he added.
“They are some of the most vocal activists on preserving our environment and perhaps even the more successful ones; women make up the majority of our government sectors dealing with climate change and sustainability with 55 percent at senior and leadership positions.”
He ended his message by saying that “I would like to take a stance and acknowledge women from all walks of life who are engaged and are willingly, voluntarily taking climate action today for a healthier and a more sustainable tomorrow!”
Inspirational testimonies of women as leaders and high achievers in Seychellois society
Women in Seychelles from different walks of life met together to share life experiences, journeys, and their biggest accomplishments to inspire others in a forum held on Tuesday, organised by the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Family.
The governor of the Central Bank of Seychelles, Caroline Abel, one of five panellists in the forum, shared her biggest achievement so far as the way she can positively influence people.
“Finance is a very technical field and most of the time the public doesn’t understand what we say. In 2020, we found the need to talk to the population more often in view of the pandemic, so we started the live [broadcast press] conference in Creole. Today when I meet a member of the public who says that they understand what is being said, this is for me the biggest accomplishment. We can bring the subject of finance and economy closer to the people who now better understand the topic,” she said.
Abel has been working for the Central Bank for 28 years and has held the position of governor for 10 years.
Another panellist, Vanessa Gendron, a commercial helicopter pilot, said that as the first woman in the field locally, she felt “nervous and didn’t really know how to take it, however with the right mindset” she made it, and today she sees herself “influencing other ladies to come into the department.”
“I am trying to break the stigma that women are not mechanically inclined to fly helicopters and fix planes. I am proof of that and I hope that in future other women will walk the same path,” said Gendron.
Other speakers, including Kelly-Mary Anette, who is Miss Intercontinental Africa, as well as Marie Madeleine Matombe, a promoter of kamtole – a traditional Seychellois dance – and Anna Rose Clarrise, a volunteer for Women in Seychelles, spoke about their experiences.
Talking about the forum initiated by the family ministry, a member of the audience, Monera Majah described the event as being inspiring.
“The life of a woman is important in society – a woman contributes a lot from her birth through to her adulthood to her friends and family. The event today is a very good initiative and we know that women are celebrated almost every day, but today is a special day for people to recognise that the ministry is here to recognise women and their accomplishments in life,” she said.