THIS year’s observance of International Women’s Day (IWD) may be the most extensive in Trinidad and Tobago to date, with the calendar of activities extending to Monday and including presentations by American writer and speaker, Dr Avis Jones-DeWeever.
Jones-DeWeever, who will arrive under the auspices of the US Embassy’s US Speaker Programme and deliver presentations tomorrow and Monday, is part of a slew of activities that begin today by the Network of NGOs.
T&T joined the rest of the world in observing IWD on this date since the 1950s.
This year’s theme under the Network of NGOs for the Advancement of Women, “Women in Enterprise: Equality Means Business”, has also brought about a radical shift in tradition as this year’s rally and march, normally set in Port of Spain, has been moved to Arima.
The Network will join with National Union of Domestic Employees (NUDE) and women trade unions at the Arima City Hall at 9 a.m. for the procession.
On Monday, which is also Commonwealth Day, the Network’s One Day Women in Enterprise Conference will be held at the National Academy of the Performing Arts (NAPA), Port of Spain and will offer Jones-DeWeever as its feature speaker.
“Women make up 51 per cent of the world’s population, are responsible for 66 per cent of the world’s output yet only receive ten per cent of the world’s income,” the Network noted in a statement yesterday.
“The Network of NGOs, through its Women in Enterprise conference, hopes to influence the change of this statistic in Trinidad and Tobago by empowering women in enterprise.”
The panel will also feature BPW Barbados president Marrianne Burnham, and the main outcome of the conference is expected to be a five-year road map of actions in relation to “Women in enterprise”.
There will also be an opportunity for women in business to showcase their goods and services at an expo, the network stated.
“Women in enterprise is now considered the new women’s movement,” said Hazel Brown, coordinator of the Network of NGOs. While feminists in the past fought for the right to vote, education and equal pay for equal work, women now need to become business leaders and business owners in order to attain equality and equity.”
Also on the agenda is a prayer and thanksgiving service held in conjunction with the Hindu Women’s Organisation tomorrow at Lakshmi Narayan Mandir at Siewdass Road, Freeport.
Included in the calendar of events, the network has partnered with the Ministry of Gender, Youth and Child Development as a roving business clinic for women entrepreneurs in rural communities.
The clinic will be at Tableland High School in Moruga at 10 a.m. today and at that time in the following areas over the next few weeks: Cedros Community Centre on Friday, March 14; Toco Regional Complex on Friday, March 21; Guayaguayare Community Centre on Tuesday, March 25 and Maracas Bay Community Centre on Thursday, March 27.
—See Pages 28, 29, 30, 36, 39, 41, 43, 44, 45, 46