Today, the world recognises International Women's Day Under the theme #Choosetochallenge.
As a Parliamentary Representative of all women here on Montserrat, I wish to take this opportunity to extend to all of our countrywomen a very Happy International Women's Day.
I extend these best wishes not merely as a token being directed from what the international community says should be done in recognising this day in your honour, but I genuinely feel a deep sense of appreciation and pride in what the women of this island have been able to accomplish under very trying circumstances.
The Women of Montserrat have been following the theme of "choosing to challenge" before it was officially declared by the international community. You have been trendsetters in this vein of progress and development for our island.
The role of women in our community in unceasing. You are not only providers, but you are head of business enterprises; you raise families; you take care of households; you ensure the children's well-being; you are Ministers of Religion; you are Senior Government Officials; you are Parliamentarians; you are our cleaners: our clerical workers; our chefs; our elderly caregivers; our small business owners; you interact and give back via charitable work; but most importantly you are leaders!
Within the confines of a year long ongoing COVID-19 Pandemic, it is women who comprise the majority of staff within the composition of our frontline workers. Without your hard work and sacrifice, God knows where we would have been in keeping the worst of COVID-19 away from our shores. You women who help to keep us safe have done an exceptional job. As Leader of the Opposition I wish to extend my profound thanks to you. This day belongs to your tireless efforts amongst all the other duties you perform.
The women of Montserrat are proud and resilient.
You have demonstrated that this island is stronger by your commitment to its advancement. Your sacrifices; your achievements and your presence in Montserrat's progress is a symbol of hope for us all to emulate.
Happy International Women's Day once again to all women on Montserrat from all Members of the Opposition.
Thank you all.
Hon Paul J. Lewis
Leader of the Opposition