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Where’s the help?

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

As we commemorate International Women’s Day this week, our headlines are telling. Another man has confessed to killing his wife, several more cases of domestic abuse will either be reported or covered up quietly and deflected, and there’s a good chance that concrete steps to address the hard issues affecting women in this country won’t be taken.

In her address to an audience at UWI yesterday, wife of the Prime Minister, Sharon Rowley acknowledged that domestic violence continues to be an area of concern. Mrs Rowley recognised that while challenges exist in addressing the issue, the reality cannot be simply ignored or excused.

For thousands of women there is little support; feelings of shame, embarrassment, pride and defeat are all mixed together. The truth is, adequate support networks for women across socio-economic brackets don’t exist in this country. Policies and speeches are fine, putting them into practice takes effort and action.

The old guard and politics

Would the return of Basdeo and Mickela Panday to active politics make a difference to the Opposition some have described as inconsistent? Dr Fuad Khan seems to think so. While Khan isn’t leader of the party and has been defined by his unpredictable independence, his self-described leading by “conscience” has often been unsettling to party loyalists.

Khan’s call for the return of the Pandays was also accompanied by a suggestion for Jack Warner to do the same. None of the three named have ever gone on record as having confidence in the party’s current leadership.

Mid-term polls done late last year showed declining ratings for the ruling PNM. The numbers pointed to opportunity for the UNC. The party, however, did little to change its game plan. Kayaking through a few floods and stymieing amendments to acts in Parliament didn’t rally the kind of popular support strategists had hoped for.

As with the PNM, a potential return of an “old guard” is never a guarantee of future success. As popular as some characters may be, good politics should be based on sound policy and concrete plans.

Keyboard vs real warriors

Fay Ann Lyons-Alvarez seems to be among the most refreshing “celebs” on social media these days. After the nameless, faceless (and often fact-less trolls) aimed fire and picong at a pic of her feet posted on Instagram, the young mom and soca star took on her critics bare faced and without batting an eye.

Gone are the days when those who are criticised, body shamed and bullied, “have to” move on without right of reply. Pushing back with class, is a quite a thing.


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