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Training for Females in Fields Dominated by Men Fully Booked

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Basseterre, St. Kitts, February 22, 2024 (SKNIS): Women in St. Kitts have overwhelmingly responded to a month-long series of training by the Department of Gender Affairs that will increase knowledge and skills in several areas traditionally dominated by men.

In commemoration of International Women’s Day on March 08, 2024, the department will stage a session on each of the following: the basics of plumbing on March 02, auto mechanics on March 09, welding on March 16, electricity on March 23, and tiling on March 30 and April 06. The training in tiling spans two sessions to allow for the laying of the tiles in session one and grouting the following week.

Senior Gender Officer, Shinnel Charles, said staging the half-day training on Saturdays provides an opportunity for more women to participate.

“Normally, you don’t really find women [skilled] in these areas, and if you do, it’s normally one person,” she stated, recalling that some years ago the department was keen to recognize the contribution of the lone female heavy equipment driver in St. Kitts and Nevis at that time. “They are very rare, so … when we find the areas where we can help women to excel, we need to push forward.”

The 30 slots for each of the training sessions are fully booked, but given the response from the public, officials are negotiating with partners to meet the high demand.

“It is not a one-off. We look forward to doing it some more and getting women more involved in these non-traditional skills training, especially auto mechanics because we have cars and what I am seeing is that most of our women in communities are single mothers. They don’t have a man in their homes who can help, or what if your car breaks down on the side of the road who would you call? If you can do it yourself, hey, go ahead and do it yourself,” she stated.

Key partners in the training include S. L. Horsfords and Company Ltd, TDC Automotive Division, the Advanced Vocational and Education Centre (AVEC) and the Public Works Department (PWD).

Other activities to celebrate International Women’s Day in March are a church service on March 03, as well as a High School Girls Award with presentations from March 05 to 15, 2024.

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