Women, Gender and the Law

President-Elect Tricia Leid welcomed members to the meeting before inviting President Cavelle Joseph to the podium to deliver brief remarks.


President Cavelle updated members on the various events to be held in May and June before the end of the current Board's term before touching on some of the pertinent gender-related legal issues to be covered by the Minister.  RPA Director Glenda Thomas-Jennings then officiated in the pinning of two new members Adanna Fraser and Sherleen Young-Griffith.


Minister Stuart Young's 20-minute presentation focussed on the following points:


The dynamic is now changing:


  • Women have long broken the glass ceiling.  They have risen to the top and now side-by-side with men, who have not kept up with the changing times.  Women are committed, dedicated and innovative,

  • The younger generation of women don’t seem to tolerate the ‘gender issues’ of the older generations,

  • However, women need to find the balance and not feel the need to overcompensate in order to prove themselves.  


Gender does not play a role in this government.  There is a constant attempt to find a proper balance of youth, female and race in Board representation.


One area of concern for the Minister – bias in the field of Journalism:


  • Unfair attacks on female journalists,

  • Men are allowed to publish their opinions without attack, yet the top journalists are female,

  • e.g. Ms. Javeed took on colleagues in the media and is now suffering an unprecedented attack as a result of being female,

  • Other women need to come forward to stop this.

The time is right for society to say we reject Sexual Harassment against both men and women:


  • Need to recognise that there is a line that is not to be crossed – once someone feels uncomfortable, the line has been crossed.


Also need to let our leaders know we will not tolerate discrimination on the basis of race.


Female centric associations are very important and should band together to focus on leading the way.


As part of the discussion:


The Minister invited AFETT to continue the dialogue in writing re the issues we wish to highlight and include suggestions for solutions.


There is nothing in legislation against Sexual Harassment.


The constitution of Trinidad and Tobago provides for both genders equally.


There is need for social media legislation (cyber crime, online bullying, defaming someone is illegal).

Secretary Marlene Charles then opened the floor for what turned out to be a very stimulating 45-minute Q&A session. 


Topics of interest included abuse of social media, cyber-bullying of female journalists, testifying by victims of domestic violence, wage parity and the disadvantages experienced by women in business.


Minister Young thanked AFETT for inviting him to the monthly meeting and encouraged the  Association to write him with possible solutions to some of the issues raised.


Estate 101 Founder and Managing Director Debora Cumberbatch then took the floor to present two short videos on the property as well as another project in which she is involved - Aqua Fun Park, to be held from July to August at the National Stadium. After presentation of two early bird door prizes and one door prize to the first member to kick off the Q&A session, Membership Director Caron Greaves delivered the Vote of Thanks.  The evening ended with a tour of the property for interested members.

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