Time to look at ‘macho’ men in the Caribbean

– UN official at Aspire launch

(Trinidad Guardian) Gabrielle Henderson, the United Nations’ Women Programme specialist from the UN’s multi-country office in Barbados, said on Wednesday that three of the top ten rape rates in the world occur in the Caribbean and that 48 per cent of adolescents in nine regional islands said sexual initiation was forced.

She was speaking at the launch of Advocates for Safe Parenthood: Improving Reproductive Equity’s (Aspire) campaign, entitled Respectful Relationships, at UWI’s Sir Arthur Lewis Institute of Social and Economic Studies conference room, St Augustine. The campaign was launched with the assistance of several Aspire’s partners, including UWI’s Institute of Gender and Development Studies.

The programme was part of the global 16 days of activism to end gender violence. In her address to the audience, comprising students from St Joseph College, St Joseph, and representatives from the Ministry of Gender, Child and Youth Develop-ment, UWI students, among others, Henderson said the Caribbean’s concept of masculinity needed to be addressed.

She said: “In the Carib-bean, like in most cultures globally, aggression is regarded as a positive feature of masculinity. “The socialisation of boys in families, schools and communities reinforces the traits of aggression and dominance, just as it does, the complementary trait of passivity in girls and women.

“While this rigidity in gender roles has changed somewhat, a cursory examination of popular culture will reveal that more than ever, an aggressiveness, which borders on violence, is portrayed as an integral dimension of masculinity.” Henderson added that the international agency would be creating partnerships to enforce change.

She said: “UN women over the past seven years have been on programmes which build partnerships with a range of actors, including men’s organisations to address the kinds of cultural changes that are needed for more equal and respectful gender relations between women, men, boys and girls. “One of these programmes is our Partnership for Peace, a psycho-educational programme for men who are in the court system as perpetrators of domestic violence.

“This programme is under evaluation in one of the countries but already it is clear that at the most basic level many men have had only inadequate avenues to explore their emotions, to understand self and to hold themselves accountable for their own actions.

“This year, T&T, in addition to the support provided to Aspire’s respectful relationships campaign within the context of the 16 days of activism activity, UN Women will also support activities of the Rape Crisis Society of T&T, CAFRA (Caribbean Association for Feminist Research and Action) and in collaboration with the UN system in T&T, the YWCA,” Henderson said.

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Shareholders plan sees Clico retaining six companies

(Trinidad Guardian) The United Shareholders Limited’s plan to deal with Clico’s residual debts to Government envisages that CL Financial retain control of six companies—including Angostura Holdings Limited, Colfire Ltd and Home Construction Ltd—and that there be a joint approach among shareholders and Government to steer Clico’s future.

Camille Robinson-Regis

T&T Cabinet agrees to pay cane farmers final TT$58m payment

(Trinidad Guardian) Cabinet has decided to pay cane farmers the final settlement of TT$57,965,675 of the compensation package promised back in 2007.

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T&T petrol dealers facing crisis – association head

(Trinidad Guardian) President of the Petroleum Dealers’ Association of T&T, Robindranath Naraynsingh, on Thursday said the country’s 170 gas stations were on the verge of collapse due to poor profitability margins from the sale of fuel.

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U.S., Cuba hold ‘substantive’ second round talks on claims

WASHINGTON/HAVANA July 29 (Reuters) – The United States and Cuba have concluded a “substantive” second round of talks on multibillion-dollar claims against one another in Washington and agreed to hold more regular meetings on the matter, a State Department Official said yesterday.

Pleased with victory: Water and Sewerage Authority (WASA) Information Technology Officer, Kerwin Simmons, who claimed to have faced racial discrimination and victimisation at his work place, is all smiles following an Equal Opportunity Tribunal (EOT) judgment in his favour at the EOT’s office on Manic Street, Chaguanas on Thursday.

T&T Equal Opportunity tribunal rules: Employee of African descent discriminated against in favour of East Indian

(Trinidad Express) A Water and Sewerage Authority (WASA) employee who had accused the State agency of racial discrimination was on Thursday awarded TT$186,000 plus interest in compensation by the Equal Opportunity Tribunal (EOT).

Robindranath Naraynsingh

T&T petrol dealers facing crisis – association head

(Trinidad Guardian) President of the Petroleum Dealers’ Association of T&T, Robindranath Naraynsingh, yesterday said the country’s 170 gas stations were on the verge of collapse due to poor profitability margins from the sale of fuel.

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