Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : September 26th 2015 Contents A9
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Men and boys play a critical role
not only in the elimination of violence
against women but also in treating
with issues of gender equality.
This was the urge from UN resident
co-ordinator Richard Blewitt as he
spoke at the launch of the He-for-She
Movement in T&T held at Fitzblack-
man Drive, Port-of-Spain yesterday.
Blewitt also signed in via the Internet
as an active participant, and vowed
his commitment to take action against
all forms of violence and discrimination
faced by women and girls.
He-For-She mobilises individual
men and boys online and offline
through the "sign up" approach that
encourages increasing engagement,
from initial awareness to advocacy to
action, with actions being recorded
and shared through a dedicated web-
Close to 150 local men have signed
into the movement thus far.
The movement was launched by the
Network of NGOs for the Advance-
ment of Women.
On the launch Blewitt said: "This
moment in history represents a unique
opportunity to position gender equality
and women s empowerment at the
heart of the global agenda."
He added that the movement was
launched by UN Women, with the first
signatory and staunchest support being
the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-
Moon. He-For-She, Blewitt said, is
aimed to enable men to identify with
the issue of gender equality and to
recognise the crucial role that they
could play to partner with women in
ending the global persisting inequality
faced by women and girls, both in their
own lives and at more structural levels
in their communities.
"Through sensitisation, awareness
raising and direct action, He-For-She
challenges men to address gender
equality as a human right and as a
social and economic imperative, the
achievement of which would benefit
both men and women.
"The active participation of strong
partners is central to the success of
the campaign," Blewitt added.
He said women continued to expe-
rience inequality in the labour market,
with higher unemployment levels than
men despite educational advance-
ments, suffer pay inequity, are seg-
mented in the lowest paying jobs and
have very limited participation in elec-
tive Parliamentary process.
"This movement provides an unpar-
alleled opportunity to engage men and
boys as partners-in sharing the respon-
sibility between women and men, girls
and boys, in realising gender equali-
"This partnership is essential to
addressing all forms of gender-based
discrimination, including one of its
most egregious forms, that of violence
against women and girls," Blewitt
He said worldwide almost one third
of all women who have been in a rela-
tionship have experienced some form
of violence by an intimate partner.
Blewitt also commended the Net-
work s adviser, Hazel Brown, for leading
effort to launch the He-For-She cam-
paign in this country and for bringing
together men and women advocates
to partner together to end all forms of
Brown said between now and when
International Women s Day was
observed in March next year, the move-
ment intended to have some 10,000
men commit to He-For-She.
"We also intend to collaborate gov-
ernment official, men s organisations
and other civil society organisations,
universities and schools to create and
promote the He-For-She campaign.
"We also intend to inspire people
and communities to take action against
gender-based discrimination and vio-
lence," Brown added.
A 17-year-old girl who
told police she was in
possession of 216
because she was trying
to support her baby has
been spared jail sentence.
The girl appeared in the
San Fernando Magistrate s
Court on Wednesday.
Instead, the girl, a first-
time offender, was fined
$3,800 and allowed 30
days to pay the fine.
The girl, from
Williamsville, who cannot
be identified because of
her age, appeared before
Magistrate Nanette Forde-
John. According to police
reports, PC Lee Lum of
the Gasparillo Police Sta-
tion and other officers
went to the girl s home
around 3.15 pm on Tues-
day with a warrant to
search for firearms and
Lee Lum met the girl,
told her of the warrant
and searched her bed-
room. He found a white
plastic bag inside a wash
basket, with 84 plastic
packets containing a sub-
stance believed to be mar-
When the girl was told
of the offence, she replied:
"Officer, I just trying a lil
thing to take care of me
and the child."
She was arrested and
taken to the Gasparillo
Police Station where the
marijuana was weighed.
In court, the girl s
attorney, Lena Jaggernath,
begged Forde-John to
show leniency to her
client saying the girl went
through many hardships
in her life.
Jaggernath said the
girl s mother left her
home when the girl was
16 and since then she has
been helping to take care
of her younger siblings.
She also became pregnant
and is now raising the
child on her own.
Jaggernath said the girl
acknowledges her mistake
and has vowed to change.
Forde-John allowed her
30 days to pay the fine.
Men, boys can eliminate violence against women
UN official at He-for-She launch...
Vision on Mission's Wayne Chance, centre, signs up for He For She as Hazel
Brown, network adviser of NGOs of T&T, right, looks on at yesterday's launch. At
left is UN resident coordinator Richard Blewitt. PHOTO: SHIRLEY BAHADUR
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