EOT chairman: Sex should be no barrier to ambition

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Justice Donna Prowell-Raphael –

EQUAL Opportunity Tribunal Chairman Donna Prowell-Raphael said the Equal Opportunity Act enshrines the tribunal’s commitment to a society where sex is no barrier to ambition. She said the organisation stood in global solidarity with the United Nation’s theme: Invest in Women: Accelerate Progress.

In a statement, Prowell-Raphael said the female population of TT now exceeded 700,000, accounting for just over 50% of the population.

“Upholding the Equal Opportunity Act through investing in women, does not only honour a legal mandate but unlocks the potential of half our population to propel the country to a future where every individual’s potential is the measure of their opportunity.

“As we celebrate International Women’s Day, let us continue to uphold the principles of the Equal Opportunity Act and strive to create an environment where sex discrimination is a relic of the past, and an individual’s ability to aspire, achieve and contribute is not dictated or stymied by their sex.”

She said the act had legal roots in TT’s Constitution.

“The Act ensures every individual, woman or man, equal protection and the opportunity to thrive. In the Caribbean diaspora, our unique history shapes challenges from economic disparity to gender-based abuse. Tackling these inequities requires a holistic strategy – legal action coupled with cultural change – to secure gender parity and equality for women in their unique struggles.

“As we reflect upon the powerful 2024 message of the United Nations, let us acknowledge that progress in this context means more than economic development. It encompasses social justice, equality, and the upholding of human rights. The Equal Opportunity Tribunal as a state investment in equality is not just a body for adjudication but also a pivotal institution for societal transformation and progress – a transformation that sees men and women enjoying respectively the same rights and opportunities.”