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Larger Cabinet at whose expense?

Saturday, June 30 2012

THE EDITOR: The recent reshuffle of the Cabinet has reflected a decrease in the female presence in leadership positions. There appears to be no parity in this reshuffle. As a young woman and citizen of this country, I am disheartened by the decreased number of females in leadership positions. Additionally, the removal of the then Minister of Gender, Child and Youth Development, Verna St Rose-Greaves who has been an advocate for women’s rights, children’s rights, equality and equity for all is sad. The removal of a pioneer like St Rose-Greaves in women’s work raises the question of the representation of women in politics.

Upon election results, in 2010, the country welcomed the heralding of a new era for our country’s history, the first female Prime Minister to be elected into office. There was a great focus on the presence of women in politics. At the 2010 United Nations Summit on the Millennium Development Goals, the Honourable Prime Minister in her speech referred to their view on women and girls as “We are very concerned about the equal place of women and girls in our society.” This statement seems to have been forgotten, with the present reshuffle. What about the equal place of women in politics and issues of governance? What does it mean for our representation?

Organisations such as Women Working for Social Progress and the Network of NGOs for the Advancement of Women have been advocating for more inclusion of women in politics at a leadership level. The project was entitled Put A Woman Project which focussed on “gender justice, parity and parity in politics.” The hard work and initiatives of these organisations and women have paved the way for equal inclusion of women in politics and decision making. Now, with the Cabinet reshuffle, have those efforts been in vain? I urge for there to be proper inclusion of women in governance. All women including our Honourable Prime Minister have been fully supported throughout their political journey by such initiatives.

Please explain why the sudden decreased inclusion of women in leadership. Both men and women can offer greater advancement as it relates to leadership and governance if gender justice is achieved through equal representation within the Parliament of Trinidad and Tobago.



Carol Jaggernauth

St Augustine

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