Persons are being urged to be their “sister’s keeper”.
The call comes from Sharon Rowley, wife of Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley, in a message for International Women’s Day.
Mrs Rowley laments that not all women in T&T are aware of gender parity, do not know about equal pay for equal work and who have to deal with sexual harassment, rape and domestic and other forms of violence.
She adds that persons must raise their voices for the voiceless since there is power in a collective voice and in a collective effort.
Mrs Rowley’s statement was shared in a Facebook post by Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley.
See her full statement below:
“Happy International Women’s Day to all the women of Trinidad and Tobago. This is our day and we are fortunate to be able to celebrate it. We have come a long way since 1911 when women first campaigned for rights which they did not have – the right to vote, to work, to hold public office and to be trained.
Today, in Trinidad and Tobago, we have all of these rights. Our constitution guarantees the equal and inalienable rights of all our citizens, both men and women, and we, because of this, are able to acknowledge the social, cultural and political achievements of our women.
We must not, however, become complacent by thinking that we have gained true equality because of the presence of more women in government, in the parliament, in the boardroom and as professionals in traditionally male dominated professions.
There are still too many women in our country who have no idea about gender parity, who do not know about equal pay for equal work and who have to deal with sexual harrassment, rape and domestic and other forms of violence.
While we can only hope that the pending improvements in our legislative framework will serve to eradicate this unacceptable status quo, we as Trinidadians and Tobagonians, both men and women, must raise our voices for the voiceless to ensure that our society is safe and secure for all.
There is power in a collective voice and in a collective effort. This year’s theme for International Women’s Day is “Choose to Challenge”. Let us, as men and women in Trinidad and Tobago, accept the challenge to do all in our power to ensure that all women in our country are able to enjoy equality, dignity and respect.
Let us be our sister’s keeper.”