NGOs commemorate International Women’s Day

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Women, men and youths hold placards, chant slogans and invite members of the public to join the women’s rights march around Woodford Square, Port of Spain, for International Women’s Day on March 8. – Photo by Faith Ayoung

THE International Women’s Day March in Port of Spain drew dozens of people from various organisations and their supporters to march through the streets on Friday. The event was organised by the Network of NGOs of TT for the Advancement of Women, the Institute for Gender and Development Studies (IGDS), the Family Planning Association of TT, and the UWI St Augustine Campus.

IGDS head Dr Sue Ann Barrat said the theme for IWD 2024 was Inspire Inclusion. She said many of those present had been working in the field of women’s issues for many years.

“We have been working for several years and we keep the energy, we keep going, but sometimes we feel discouraged, so we continue to inspire each other, we continue to inspire others. When we inspire others to understand and value women’s inclusion, we forge a better world. And when women themselves are inspired to be included, there’s a sense of belonging, relevance and empowerment. So we invest in women.”

She said some calls for action to those who would attend or hear about the march including: celebrating women’s achievements, however big or small; raising awareness about discrimination; taking action for gender justice; empowering and investing in women; creating a better world for women; calling for gender-responsive budgeting; demanding actions to bring an end to poverty; and shifting to a green economy and reducing usage of fossil fuels.

Port of Spain Mayor Chinua Alleyne declared the day as IWD 2024 at a ceremony at City Hall, Port of Spain.

“The Network commemorates International Women’s Day action which is governed by the campaign theme Inspire Inclusion, emphasising the importance of fostering a world where more women, regardless of background, ethnicity and circumstance, are embraced and empowered.

“Whereas the field seeks to foster worldwide conversation about the importance of equity as a long-term and sustainable solution and its impact in addressing imbalance in social systems, I, Chinua Alleyne, alderman in the city of Port of Spain, TT, do hereby proclaim March 8, 2024, as International Women’s Day in the city of Port of Spain.”

The marchers proceeded down Frederick Street to Independence Square, across to Abercromby Street, up Abercromby Street to Duke Street, and back to Woodford Square, chanting,

“Women’s rights are human rights; sexual rights are human rights; LGBT rights are human rights; reproductive rights are human rights; the world we want, gender equal and free with dignity; my body, my rights; love more, judge less.”

Present were representatives of the TT Association of Midwives, Families In Action, Traditional African Women’s Organisation, Mamatoto Resource and Birth Centre, New Horizon Community Group, Women of the Soil, National Union of Domestic Employees, Network of Rural Women Producers TT, Caiso: Sex and Gender Justice, IGDS Ignite, Caribbean Women in Leadership (CIWIL) TT, Tech for Agri, Feminitt Caribbean, Association of Female Executives of TT (AFETT), the Girl Guides Association of TT, IGDS, Bankers Association of TT, Break the Silence: End Child Abuse, Family Planning Association of TT, Coalition Against Domestic Violence, and CEDAW Committee of TT.