Special assembly sitting empowers Tobago women

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

THA Presiding Officer Aleah Holder, right, and Clerk of the Assembly Kai John in the Secretariat meeting room at Tuesday’s special all-women sitting of the Assembly Legislature, Scarborough, Tuesday. –

Temporary Tobago House of Assembly (THA) Presiding Officer Aleah Holder sought to inspire women by reminding them of their strength at Tuesday’s Assembly Legislature special sitting, Scarborough, on International Women’s Day. The special all-female sitting had women in the various roles of the assembly to debate a motion in commemoration of International Women’s Day 2022.

“I am worth it,” Holder said, “I am going to break those generational curses. I would succeed. I am limitless, anything my hand touches shall flourish. I am my sister’s keeper. I am woman, I am strong, and I will always win.”

In her preamble, Holder said the sitting is a collaborative effort between the Legislature and the various assemblymen, and was done by selecting personnel from each electoral district and the Tobago Youth Assembly

The initiative, she said, aims to institutionalise the participation of all women in governance while exposing women to training and experiences geared at expanding their understanding and awareness of related systems, policies and practices.

“This all-female assembly aims to give all women a voice on issues whilst also allowing them to contribute to their overall growth and overall development thus fostering a sense of civic responsibility amongst the island’s women.”

She said while it was the first sitting of the all-female assembly, she hoped it would not be the last.

“We are pleased to be on the record as women in Tobago leading the way with excellence, successfully participating in this consecutive sitting in the assembly chamber. So on this day, International Women’s Day 2022, a day of action and advocacy by women for women as the theme suggests, that we should have gender equality today for a sustainable tomorrow which shall allow us to contribute towards the creation for a better Tobago.”

She reminded women to provide support for women in need.

“Let us remember that as women we should be our sister’s keeper – stand for each other when no one else stands for us. For it is only effective when we do our part, because we all have a responsibility to help each other as we look forward to a bright and productive future as proud and productive citizens.”

With this year’s commemoration focused on breaking the bias, she said it comes at a time when the lives of young people have been drastically altered as a result of the covid19 pandemic.

“In our response to this growing crisis, we used this year’s International Women’s Day to campaign and serve as a call to action for all stakeholders to prioritise and make solid investments in young women development and by extension mental health resilience, as a means of furthering the Caribbean’s women’s development.”

She added: “We the members of this all-female assembly 2022 and stakeholders see it fit to remind women and citizens of Trinidad and Tobago to ensure that we do our part to fight the covid19 virus. Continue to strictly adhere to all health and safety protocols outlined at this time.”