Wednesday, 8 March 2017

The Safety, Health and Empowerment of Women in Trinidad and Tobago. (SALISES Forum)



Date:  Wednesday 8th March 2017

Time:  10AM

Venue:  Institute of International Relations,
The University of the West Indies
St. Augustine Campus.

This event was held to commemorate International Women's Day and featured four speakers who elaborated on the theme 'The Safety, Health and Empowerment of Women in Trinidad and Tobago.

Mr Ansley Garrick (Ag Commissioner of Police, TTPS) brought forward the existence of certain organizations which were formed to assist in various crimes against women and children.  These include:

The Child Protection Unit

The Counter Trafficking Unit

The Victim and Witness Support Unit.



Prof. Gerard Hutchinson (Head, Psychiatry Unit UWI St. Augustine) started off by quoting Orlando Octave's popular song 'Plenty gyal have man and acting like dey single' .  He then describes the phenomenon of men who seem to respond negatively to these types of women, whereas when the roles are reversed the women are made to feel like they should not react.

He also mentions Calypso Rose's 'Leave me Alone' which highlights a woman dealing with the possessive behavior of her significant other.

Other issues in his speech included:

Violence against Women

Child Sexual Abuse

Homicide - Suicide

Deliberate Self - Harm.



Dr. Gabrielle Hosein (Head, Institute for Gender and Development Studies UWI, St. Augustine) pondered on a question that she heard on a radio call - in programme recently:

'Men and Women are different.  Should they be considered equal?'

She also wondered why we should focus on campaigning for the well - being of one particular sector in society when violence does not discriminate.



Ms. Sherna Alexander (Founder and Executive Director, Organization for Abused and Battered Women) centered her talk on Domestic Violence.  She stated that it is a national health issue and it is one that affects many directly and indirectly.

Ms. Alexander also expanded on other types of gender - based violence which includes:

organizational
institutional
verbal
spiritual

She ended her speech by suggesting an end to Domestic Violence in three ways:

Advocate
Educate
Collaborate.

  A Q and A session followed where members of the public put forward these queries to the presenters:

Q:  Is there a Sex Offenders Registry in Trinidad and Tobago?

Q:  Why are men so angry against women?

Q:  why not introduce a video testimony method so as not to retraumatize the victim?




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