Women who are exposed to gender-based violence are twice as likely to suffer from clinical depression and have alcohol and substance abuse disorders, Minister of the People Dr Glenn Ramadharsingh said yesterday.
Ramadharsingh was the feature speaker at an International Women’s Day symposium, hosted by the Ministry of the People, at City Hall, Port of Spain.
“I will also focus on the issues relating to gender-based violence and will also highlight the factors that continue to put women at risk,” he said.
“Sixteen per cent are more likely to have a low-birth-weight baby, 1.5 times more likely to contract HIV, 1.5 times more likely to contract other sexually-transmitted infections....
“Forty-two per cent of women who have experienced physical or sexual violence at the hands of a partner have experienced physical injuries while 38 per cent of all murders of women globally were reported as being committed by their intimate partners,” he added.
“When we improve the lives of women in our nation, we improve the quality of life for some of the most vulnerable persons in our neighbourhoods,” said the minister, who also quoted former United States secretary of state Hillary Clinton that “women are the largest untapped reservoir of talent in the world”.
With regard to the spread of the HIV virus which causes Aids (acquired immuno deficiency syndrome), Ramadharsingh said: “As the ministry charged with delivering social services to vulnerable groups in Trinidad and Tobago, we are committed to reaching a point of zero new infections.”
When approached by reporters, the minister opted not to discuss his alleged misconduct aboard a Caribbean Airlines flight from Tobago last Sunday.