Gender Affairs

mission statement

The Department of Gender Affairs is committed to ensuring, that both males and females are equal partners in shaping the economic, educational, political, cultural and social development of the Federation.

overview of the department

The Department of Gender Affairs is a unit within the Ministry of Community Development, Gender Affairs & Social Services. It was first established in 1986, as ‘The Department of Women’s Affairs’ in the Ministry of Health and Women’s Affairs.

In 2000, the Department assumed its new name ‘Department of Gender Affairs’ in keeping with the state’s commitment to ensure that gender is mainstreamed in all of its policies and programmes, as well as to ensure specific impact on men and women.

The Department has major responsibilities for raising awareness; monitoring and improving the status of women and girls in the country through the implementation of a number of International Conventions and declarations; as well as the Constitution of Saint Christopher and Nevis which speaks to equality between men and women.

The Department’s priority areas include the formation of a National Gender Policy, the empowerment of women and girls, the reduction of all forms of gender based violence, poverty elimination, governance and democracy, and programmes for men and boys.

The Department of Gender Affairs seeks to serve vulnerable populations through advocacy, education, empowerment and enhancement of individuals by utilising programmes that promote equality, growth and development.

Accordingly, the Department operates on two platforms; a platform for the empowerment of men and boys; and a platform for the empowerment of women and girls. Focus is given to vulnerable groups such as boys at risk, teen mothers, low income women, women in prison; and complainants of gender-based violence.


The Department functions under a Policy Framework, which is guided by International and Regional commitments including the Sustainable Development Goals, Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), the Gender Equality Observatory,(CSW) Commission on the Status of Women in St. Kitts & Nevis and the Belém do Pará Convention. It has responsibility to fulfil periodic international, regional and national reporting obligations.

Nationally, the protection of complainants has been strengthened by the Domestic Violence Act, 2014, which provides the various forms of Domestic Violence. The Act, also provides greater protection for Victims of Domestic Violence including, provision for the granting of Protection Orders.

Additionally, there is the Domestic and Sexual Violence Complaints and Response Protocol, which was developed in consultation with stakeholders from the private and public sectors; and civil society. The protocol which was launched in 2018,sets out the roles and responsibilities of the key agencies involved in Domestic Violence matters.


Domestic Violence is categorized as physical, verbal, and sexual abuse, however, most of the reported cases,are physical and verbal abuse. The groups affected by Domestic Violence include males, females and children. Most cases of Domestic Violence are referred to the Special Victims Unit (SVU), however, the data collected, points to women as the predominant group, which is mostly affected by Domestic Violence, while men represents a very small percentage. Accordingly, the Department continues to partner with the SVU to conduct outreach, support and legal advocacy to victims of Domestic Violence.


As a referral, advocacy and awareness raising department, the services offered include but are not limited to:

  • Mediation
  • Counselling
  • Social assistance
  • Legal aid
Programmes and Objectives

The Department of Gender Affairs adopts a multi-agency and holistic approach, forming strategic partnerships with the public and private sectors; and civil society. Our partners include the Special Victims Unit, Counselling Unit, faith-based and NGOs that provide shelter for victims of Domestic Violence. Support is also provided from some of our key international partners including UN Women, UNICEF, UNFPA and PAHO, that assists us in achieving our programme objectives. Below is a list of the current (2020) programmes and objectives.


To actively engage men and boys in the Mentorship Programme from two additional schools.

Programme Description

The Boys’ Mentorship Programme, launched as a pilot at the Charles E. Mills Secondary School in July 2016 provides high risk adolescent males with viable alternatives to a life of anti-social behavior that could easily and quickly deteriorate into a life of criminality. The programme provides opportunities for the holistic development of adolescent males. Training is offered in life, social and technical skills. Utilising a collaborative approach, parents, school principals and school guidance counsellors are involved in monitoring progress of the participants. It is intended to expand to progamme to all public high schools in St. Kitts.


  • To facilitate research on gender issues to generate information for dissemination and;
  • To allow for data collection, analyses, interpretation, dissemination and use regarding intentional injuries.

Programme Description

  • Completion and approval. The Department is preparing to commence phase 2 to finalise the UNESCO-funded National Gender Equality Policy and Action Plan. The GEPAP will provide the institutional framework to assist the Government infacilitating gender equality and empowerment through gender sensitive initiatives that incorporate a rights-based approach to human development.
  • The development of an Intentional Injury Surveillance Systemon gender issues.


  • To provide an enabling environment in which teenage mothers can complete their secondary education
  • To increase the participation of women and girls in decision- making at all level of development in public and private sectors

Programme Description

  • The programme gives teen mothers the opportunity to complete their secondary education after the disruption in their studies due to an unplanned pregnancy. It equips them with the necessary skills including personal and career development skills, job attachment, skills training, and a scholarshipprogramne. Project Viola is recognised by UNICEF as a best practice model in the Caribbean region.
  • Training of women and girls in leadership, governance and democracy.



  • To mainstream gender in all programmes and legislation
  • Reduction of all formsof Gender Based Violence (GBV)

Programme Description

  • To facilitate gender awareness training in order to reduce discrimination and inequality that create barriers to personal and economic development. It is intended to expand to all government ministries.
  • The development of the Domestic and Sexual Violence Complaints and Response Protocol has been a significant achievement. The Department of Gender Affairs has responsibility for the protocol, which formally sets out the roles and responsibilities of the key agencies involved in service provision. In accordance with the protocol, the Department of Gender Affairs refers complainants to the relevant agencies. The protocol will continue to be implemented. Domestic violence workshops are conducted as part of this platform.

The programme is part of the women’s empowerment platform and delivers short term skills training for female inmates of Her Majesty’s Prison. The weekly training sessions aim to improve personal and career development, and focuses leadership, life and technical skills to empower women to enable them to participate fully in the economic activities of the country that will assist in alleviating the feminization of poverty. Where appropriate, the Department of Gender Affairs also provides advocacy services on behalf of inmates.

Annual Observances

International Women’s Day (8 March)

International Women’s Day is celebrated on March 8th and is an occasion where women from all backgrounds are recognized for their achievements. The Department of Gender Affairs commemorates International Women’s Day through the coordination of various activities during the month of March that include raising awareness of the contribution of local women.

International Men’s Day (19 November)

International Men’s Day is celebrated annually on 19 November and is an occasion to highlight discrimination against men and boys and to celebrate their achievements and contributions. The Department of Gender Affairs hosts a series of activities to celebrate the contribution of men in their workplaces, families and communities.

International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women (25 November to 10 December)

The 16 Day Campaign against Gender-based Violence

The Department of Gender Affairs joins similar institutions worldwide in activism designed to end violence against women, men and children. The Sixteen Day Campaign begins on November 25th, and ends with International Human Rights Day on December 10th. The campaign calls for the elimination of all forms of violence against women, men and children. Activities to sensitize the general public are conducted to raise awareness of gender-based violence as a human rights issue. The Department works towards promoting innovation and strategic awareness to reduce crime, in addition to advocating on behalf of victims of gender-based violence.

Contact Listing

Telephone: 662-5492

Name: Mrs. Celia Christopher
Designation: Director of Gender Affairs
Assignment: Supervision of the Department of Gender Affairs
Telephone: 467 1223

Name: Mrs. Sharon Warner
Designation: Executive Officer
Assignment: Performs administrative and reporting functions
Telephone: 467 1223

Name: Mrs. Shinnel Charles
Designation: Senior Gender Officer
Assignment: Women and Girls Platform
Telephone: 467 1397

Name: Ms. Kasandra Bedford
Designation: Gender Officer
Assignment: Women and Girls Platform
Telephone: 467 1397

Name: Mr. Dion Browne
Designation: Gender Officer
Assignment: Men and Boys Platform
Telephone: 467 1397