Concerned Caribbean feminists are making public across the region our dismay at the dismissal of Minister of Gender, Youth and Child Development, Verna St Rose Greaves, from the Trinidad and Tobago Government.
Many outside of Trinidad and Tobago have been admiring her stellar advocacy work which has benefited many different groups in the country and was doing much to give real meaning to the concept of democracy.
In these circumstances, we strongly urge Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar’s Government to ensure the continuation of the current work done on the National Gender Policy in the spirit and vision of Verna St.Rose Greaves.
Ms St. Rose Greaves’s work in widening the scope of concerns and pushing recent children’s legislation through successfully despite severe opposition was highly commendable.
Her passion for gender justice is what is needed among Government Ministers in an era when Caribbean countries are deservingly being severely criticized for human trafficking and for the high levels of incest that mar the lives of Caribbean children, women and men.
We recognize that forces exist that are inimical to the meaningful extension of human rights in all their fullness, including reproductive autonomy for women in Trinidad and Tobago and full citizenship rights for gays and lesbians throughout the region.
We are equally sure that Caribbean governments are installed to protect all citizens and enable each the fullest expression of our humanity.
Verna St. Rose Greaves’s public life demonstrated a philosophy of caring and engagement.
That is what we want of Caribbean politicians; therefore, we are dismayed at what her dismissal says of the Trinidad and Tobago Government.
That dismay extends to the decline of female participation in the Parliament.
Out of a deep concern for the fragility of human rights gains made to date, we implore the Trinidad and Tobago Government to accept our call to continue the work done so far on the National Gender Policy and hold it accountable to real values of justice and democracy.
Margaret D. Gill,
Feminists for Gender
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