Hazel Brown

HIGHEST NUMBER THUS FAR:

Hazel Brown

Brown made this declaration at a function held to distribute financial support to 16 women candidates from four political parties in the local government election on Thursday at The Professional Centre in Woodbrook.

She also said the Network intends to busy itself with Local Government Reform after the December 2 election.

The four political parties which received an undisclosed sum included People’s National Movement (PNM), United National Congress (UNC), Movement For Social Justice (MSJ) and Congress Of the People (COP).

There was celebration in the camp since 123 women (36 per cent) from a total of 339 candidates will be contesting the election.

Both Brown and Caribbean Women In Leadership leaders are calling upon political parties “to appoint women to at least 50 per cent of allocated positions as aldermen”.

Trinidad and Tobago Institute For Women In Leadership conducted the Women’s Transformational Political Leadership Skills Training Course which included areas such as governance, the candidate and the campaign and communication with the media. Among those present were Jacquie Burgess, founder of Working Women For Social Progress, and Congress of the People candidates Sharon Fraser (Carapo) and Tricia Trim (Sangre Grande South).

Equal men and women 

On the need for the capital city’s first woman mayor, Brown said: “It is time for Port of Spain to have its first female mayor. It has never had a female mayor. I know Asha Permanand had acted as mayor. I thought she would have been made mayor but she wasn’t. Since 1946, the city has never had a female mayor.”

Moving to the 2019 candidates, Brown added: “We have the highest number thus far. We have seen an increase in the number of candidates. It’s only after the votes are counted that the aldermen get chosen. We are asking them to make a commitment to have an equal number of aldermen in the 14 corporations. If they get a spot for four, then put two females. We have found in San Fernando, Port of Spain and Diego Martin more than 50 per cent of women become councillors.”

Before Carnival 2020 celebrations, Brown said they are hoping to make significant strides towards Local Government Reform.

“It’s been 13 years since people have been talking about Local Government Reform. Putting a system similar to the Tobago House Of Assembly (THA) in Tobago. We are looking at the method of financing. We are looking at using the property taxes for funding. We are looking at the discussion happening in January,” Brown said.

When contacted on Thursday, Local Government Minister Kazim Hosein, who was on the campaign trail, said: “The choosing of the mayors and aldermen is dependent upon the leadership of the political party.”

Skills Training Bank 

On her foray into politics, the COP’s candidate Sharon Fraser (Carapo) said: “Everything you do in life is politics. If the price of bread or gas raises, it affects you. Decisions that are made in politics affect us as women. So women and youth have to take part in politics.”

On her plans for Carapo, she added: “I intend to create a skills training bank to help people in Carapo. So I can know where all the masons and carpenters are. I can help them to get jobs. I also want to prevent teenagers from being mothers and stay in school. Even those who have babies, we want to help them to care for the babies.”

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