“[…] Five male Presidents later, the next President of Trinidad and Tobago should be a woman. Such an appointment would be a significant indicator of gender equality and an expression of the democratic value of inclusion.
“We should widen the scope of persons to be considered and Trinidad and Tobago has no dearth of qualified women.”
The following media statement expressing a regional group’s desire to see the Republic elect a female President was submitted to Wired868 by CAFRA T&T (Caribbean Association for Feminist Research and Action):
As Trinidad and Tobago struggles with violence, crime, corruption, inequality and divisiveness, the next president must contribute to the building of togetherness, respect, security and equality for all.
The president should have an ethical vision and a profound understanding of the history of this country, of its contemporary political and socio-cultural dynamics.
The selection of the next president therefore should be informed by public discussion. And the public should be encouraged to think not only of the people to be nominated but the values which are to be advanced.
As head of state, the president personifies the face of Trinidad and Tobago and is a symbol of the values of decency, unity, diversity, respect, thoughtfulness and public spiritedness.
Names of distinguished persons have already been suggested. But five male presidents later, the next president of Trinidad and Tobago should be a woman. Such an appointment would be a significant indicator of gender equality and an expression of the democratic value of inclusion.
We should widen the scope of persons to be considered and Trinidad and Tobago has no dearth of qualified women. There are as many women as men fit and qualified. These can include:
- Bridget Brereton, author and Professor Emerita of History, The UWI
- Judith Jones, Justice of Appeal
- Asha Kambon, researcher and public policy expert
- Christine Kangaloo, attorney-at-law and President of the Senate
- Sunity Maharaj, writer and former editor-in-chief of the Trinidad Express
- Rhonda Maingot, founder, Living Waters Community
- Dr Eastlyn McKenzie, educator, former Independent Senator
- Maureen Rajnauth-Lee, judge, Caribbean Court of Justice
- Rhoda Reddock, professor, social scientist and former deputy principal, The UWI
And no doubt, we can all add names to this list. So let us do just that.
The appointment of a woman will send a powerful signal to everyone, but particularly the youth, that leadership has a diverse face. Five presidents later, it would appear that the political parties of Trinidad and Tobago are considering only men. It is time for this thinking to end.