Press Release

Ministry of Health & Social Development
Office of Gender Affairs
Gender Affairs
Release Date:
Tuesday, 26 September 2023 - 4:25pm

The Office of Gender Affairs has commenced the process of establishing focal points as it works to ensure the mainstreaming of gender equity and equality throughout the public sector.

Gender Affairs Coordinator, Ms. Patricia Hackett said that the establishment of Gender Focal Points is vital to the work of her office and that the aim is to see these focal points established by early October. She said the office is engaging approximately 30 high-ranking public officers to begin the process.

Ms. Hackett stated that the Gender Focal Points will be expected to advocate for increased attention to and integration of gender equality and women’s empowerment. 

“They are expected to establish a system of regular communication with the Office of Gender Affairs to provide relevant information on gender-based issues for each ministry and their departments and units as well as to promote the understanding of gender and gender equality and equity in the workplace among other things,” the coordinator said.

Ms. Hackett said she was very pleased with the commitment received from the participants to advance the initiative, adding that their capacity will be built to carry out their role and functions.

The Gender Affairs Coordinator added that the focal points will play a critical role in implementing some of the priority areas within the Virgin Islands Gender Policy. “They will also serve as a catalysts and an advocate in their ministries, departments and units to identify any gender issues that may be existing,” she said.

Meanwhile, Minister for Health and Social Development Honourable Vincent Wheatley applauded the initiative stating that eliminating gender inequalities, inequities and discrimination against women, men and children in the Virgin Islands is among Government’s top priorities. 

Honourable Wheatley added, “Implementing gender focal points in every ministry, department and unit is what we believe is the most effective way to achieve gender equality and equity and empowerment of women within the public service.”

The Office of Gender Affairs is committed to ensuring gender mainstreaming to ensure equality of opportunity and reduction of discriminatory practices through the identification and implementation of appropriate equality and equity measures.





Natasha Lettsome-Humphrey

Public Health Communications Specialist
Ministry of Health/Social Development
Telephone: 468-2286