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Poem Competition Prize Giving Ceremony
Winners of the poem competition that was launched for International Women’s Day on 8th March 2009 were presented their certificate of award and cash prizes in a ceremony held at the National Library on 21st August.

During the ceremony winners recited their poems to invited guests and members of the press, who were then invited to view the exhibition which presented all the poems submitted for the competition. The ceremony and exhibition was officially opened by the Minister for Health and Social Development, Mrs Marie-Pierre Lloyd.
The competition has proved to be very popular, in which a total of almost 400 submissions were received by the Gender Secretariat. In her opening address, the Minister thanked everyone for participating in this competition, saying that she was impressed not only by the sheer quantity, but also by the quality of the poems submitted, which made the process of judging very difficult in deed.

The success of this competition has shown that this has been an important outlet for many, by providing an opportunity for creative expression on the subject of violence against women. The numbers of boys and girls, men and women, who entered this competition, are testimony to the personal convictions held by many individuals on their stand against violence against women. The Minister went on to say that she was encouraged to see the great numbers of Seychellois men who participated in this competition. The people of Seychelles have come together to send a clear and united message to those who commit and tolerate violence against women to recognise the consequences of their actions and put a stop to it.

This competition will go on to provide many more opportunities for debate and change. The Ministry plans to publish a book of the winning and submitted poems for documentation and educational purposes.

The Gender Secretariat would like to join Minister Lloyd in thanking all those who put their effort into writing a poem for this competition and a special thanks to all the parents and teachers who gave their encouragement.

Gender Secretariat, 28.08.09