Bodoe: Groups for abused women need resources

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Dr Lackram Bodoe

ORGANISATIONS which continue to champion the cause of women affected by violence have been commended by Fyzabad MP Dr Lackram Bodoe, who is asking for them to be properly resourced.

“As a society we need to do more to address this culture of gender-based violence. Deeper engagement is required at the primary-school level to inculcate at a young age respect for girls and women, and abhorrence of violence against women.”

On the international observation of 16 days of activism to eliminate violence against women, Bodoe said further strengthening of the Domestic Violence Act can protect more women.

He called on Government to adequately resource these civil-society bodies that advance the cause of non-violence towards women, so that they can continue their valuable work.

He also called on citizens to do their part to be their sisters’ keepers and eliminate violence against them.

Bodoe noted that in spite of the UN observance, too many women in TT continue to be victims of violence.

“The covid19 pandemic, with the consequent lockdowns and state of emergency, has created a lot of tension and conflict within certain domestic spaces. The statistics have shown an increase in gender-based violence during this pandemic.”

He recalled that the opposition motion debated in Parliament on private members’ day in March 2019 highlighted many issues pertaining to violence against women in TT and proposed several solutions.

“Despite the creation of a gender-based violence unit in the TTPS, and the passage of laws allowing the use of electronic bracelets, women continue to experience violence and death at the hands of persons who are known to them, including intimate partners.

Couva South MP Rudranath Indarsingh said he is also saddened by the violence meted out to women, despite the strides made by the State and civic organisations.

“There are numerous reports surfacing on a regular basis of women being robbed, abused, raped and killed. What was once a paradise for all of us has turned into hell for the women who we continue to fail. We continue to fail these women because in many respects, we have not engaged the population yet in a wholesome conversation on violence against women.

“We continue to see the absence of strong, female-friendly leadership by our Prime Minister and his Government, who believe that women must be groomed like golf courses, and that domestic violence is out of his realm since he is not in the bedroom of women being so affected, and that women should choose their men wisely.”

Earlier this year, Indarsingh held a workshop titled Fighting for our Females, for women of Couva. It was done in collaboration with security stakeholders to equip women with basic self-defence and crisis-management techniques so they could defend themselves if attacked.