The overwhelming response to rampant murder and domestic violence suffered by T&T females must move beyond the marching and candlelight vigils.

The deeply felt sorrow at the deaths of Andrea Bharatt, Ashanti Riley and so many other women must now be channelled into ensuring societal attitude change.

The change must begin in early childhood classrooms. A daily component of instruction must be part and parcel of basic learning.

From age five and onward, girls and boys must be aware they have to respect each other and to understand the roles they will play in one another’s lives.

This approach will have to be orchestrated between the Ministry of Education and all teaching staff, and must extend from kindergarten years to Sixth Form level.

It should never be taken for granted that parents alone are capable of clearly instructing their children about positive attitudes. T&T schools must be part of the inevitable process of learning self-respect throughout the entire school experience.

Trinidad and Tobago is a very small society with an acute shortage of trained psychologists and psychiatrists. We are extremely underserved when coming to mental health services.

We need to understand how, when and at which age domestic violence begins to seem normal.

Self-control and understanding that rape and violence are unacceptable responses to anger are paramount to ridding Trinidad and Tobago of domestic violence and murder.

We lack the capacity to monitor abnormal behaviours through childhood to adulthood. Marriage guidance counsellors are an important feature of the First World.

We lack this feature which would help contain domestic violence.

No disrespect is intended, but it is my view that hating is not enough. Marching will never be more than a knee-jerk response to a shocking experience.

The candle lighting, the prayers and vigils, the marching and the placards are but the sensors for the introduction of much needed pertinent responses to prevent repeats of our females suffering rape and murder.

Attitude change must begin at age five.

Lynette Joseph

Diego Martin


Due to a glitch, the wrong Raffique Shah column appeared in yesterday’s Sunday Express. The correct column appears below.

The error is regretted.

IF a brush with death is said to prompt man to reflect more deeply on life, then the Covid-19 pandemic that swooped down on mankind last year, cutting a path of death and destruction such as we had never seen in our lifetime, has also triggered deep thinking on the social contracts that exist among governments and the governed, on how societies are structured to sustain inequality, and on altering such arrangements, replacing them with more equitable alternatives.

EVEN as Trinidad and Tobago joins the world in observing International Women’s Day today it is evident that many women are too busy trying to survive and to stay alive to see the relevance of this day to their lives.

Women’s non-governmental organisations (NGOs) raised the consciousness of women to challenge prevailing myths that spousal abuse, rape and sexual abuse were the fault of women. Feminist NGOs forced public political discourses and attitudinal changes in society’s views on domestic violence and violence against women.

For International Women’s Day, ECLAC (Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean) Caribbean calls on individuals to #choosetochallenge gender inequality and gender-based violence

ECLAC Caribbean is championing the call to elevate the voices who #choosetochallenge gender-based violence (GBV) and gender inequality, as well as limiting beliefs and attitudes about women’s roles in the home, workplace, and society.

Nearly a year ago, on March 12, 2020, Trinidad and Tobago recorded its first Covid-19 case, marking the arrival of the pandemic to the sister-island nation. The ensuing lockdown and other restrictions protected the lives of the nation. However, while these measures safeguarded the people from the virus, it also took, and indeed, is still taking a heavy toll on the livelihoods of the people who have had to adjust to the new realities.

All over the world, women lead. They lead peace processes, run businesses, establish hospitals and schools. They are presidents of countries and corporate boards. They head international and grassroots organisations, faith-based groups and sports teams, labour and environmental movements, often while caring for their families and communities.