International Women’s Day 2016 Message

Message From His Excellency Anthony Thomas Aquinas Carmona ORTT, SC, President Of The Republic Of Trinidad And Tobago On The Occasion Of International Women’s Day 2016

The matriarch is a critical and potent force in this Nation of ours. Mothers, wives, daughters and sisters, continue to mould, shape and inspire our society performing yeomen service in the progressive development of this Nation State.  The strength and quintessential character of Trinidad and Tobago’s society has always been one girth with matriarchal influence and support.  Today (March 8, 2016), all Nations observe International Women’s Day, truly celebratory of the affirmative role women continue to play in the political, economic, social and cultural achievements of the world.

Many feel sometimes, in the past, that women in Trinidad and Tobago, may not have been accorded their just due and respect notwithstanding that we are all quick to admit that we have traditionally lived in a deeply matriarchal society.  It is against this backdrop, I have sought to appoint competent, independent and erudite women in key institutions of governance, institutions that demand proactive independence, integrity, vision and fairness.  Under my Presidential stewardship, I have given credence to this year’s motif of “Pledge for Parity.  I have since appointed for the first time in Trinidad and Tobago’s institutional history, women of calibre to Chair the Public Service Commission, the Equal Opportunities Commission, Public Service and Statutory Appeals Board and the Police Service Commission and I have even reappointed the President of the Industrial Court and the Ombudsman.  This President is a proponent of genuine gender inclusivity, equality and fulsome opportunity for all women.

The vindication of women’s rights in the workplace and in the society at large, is an ongoing struggle.  Women are still excluded from being Chairs of major financial and corporate institutions, notwithstanding their excellent qualifications and experience. We need to change this dynamic.  There are no longer “Boy Jobs” and “Girl Jobs”.  Those days are over.  Women are our equal peers and must be treated as such.

I wish to commend wholeheartedly, the role Trinbago women continue to play in the world of volunteerism.  The women in our Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) continue to bring compassion and selflessness in their search to address the social wrongs and inequities in Trinidad and Tobago.  My Wife, Her Excellency is also equal to the task by virtue of her multifaceted philanthropic patronage in action of several NGOs.

Women in Trinidad and Tobago must truly appreciate their role in society and recognise that they are and can be real game changers, in a society suffering from a diminution of human values, courtesies and mutual respect.  Let us therefore all, especially men in our society, now and for the rest of the year, continue to celebrate and support the power and transformational influence of womanhood in this Republic.