Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : March 9th 2017 Contents A8 news
guardian.co.tt Thursday, March 9, 2017
International Women's Day...
As the world marked International Women's
Day yesterday, Woodford Square in Port-of-
Spain was notably absent of women's groups
who failed to turn out in their numbers to voice
their concerns about the violence perpetuated
against women and girls.
This was the concern of Jamaat-al-Muslimeen
leader Yasin Abu Bakr as he led a group of women
and children from the Jamaat on a march through
the capital yesterday.
The march took place down Frederick Street then
to Independence Square, onto Duncan Street, on to
Duke Street and back to Woodford Square.
On the growing increase of violence perpetuated
against women, some of which has resulted in mur-
ders, Bakr said, "It was expected that today (yester-
day), being International Women's Day, that we would
have seen an enormous number of women coming out
and making a statement....and we are not seeing that.
"But that has not deterred us," Bakr said.
He also lamented that within recent times a number
of school children had also gone missing, adding that
this was another worrying concern.
Several pupils, both boys and girls from the Jamaat's
Primary School, led yesterday's march. Bearing plac-
ards they chanted, "Abuse has no excuse," "No vi-
olence," "Protect our women" and "Real man don't
Saying it was important to teach children about
non-violence from an early age, Bakr added, "We
brought the children to make a statement. We start
to teach them be careful of the cars they take when
travelling, to be careful with strangers and things
"But more than anything is to give them the aware-
ness and let them understand that violence against
women is unacceptable in every form, whether it be
hitting, shoving, pulling or biting....there is no excuse
Jamaat-al-Muslimeen leader Yasin Abu
Bakr. PHOTO: ABRAHAM DIAZ
Groups fail to attend Bakr's march
for violence against women," Bakr said.
He said instead of protecting women
men were abusing and in some cases kill-
ing women. "Nobody can justifiably give
me an excuse for being violence towards a
woman. Even if you get a horn walk away,"
He said a woman's relationship with a
man was voluntary and hence she had the
option to leave anytime she wanted.
"She is not bound to stay in a relationship
if it is not working and nobody could justify
that they love their wife to the extent that
they need to kill them," Bakr added.
Bakr's wife, Fatima, one of the co-ordina-
tors of the march, said it was sad that women
were being abused not only physically but
mentally as well. "Men personally need to
buck up when it comes to how they treat
and respect women. And not just young
people, elderly people also. So while it is
about women it is a man's thing as well and
more so because they are the ones who are
supposed to protect us," Fatima said.
She said International Women's Day was
losing its importance and becoming "com-
mercialised" as more effort could be placed
into the event.
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