Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : March 23rd 2017 Contents A8 news
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PM's wife at International Women's Day celebrations:
Men need to stand up
against abuse of women
Sharon Rowley, wife of
Prime Minister Dr Keith Row-
ley, has appealed to men to
stand up against domestic
violence and abuse against
T&T women, stating that this
social issue was now plaguing
Rowley made the call while de-
livering the feature address at the
Unemployment Relief Women's
Programme to commemorate In-
ternational Women's Day (IWD)
which was observed worldwide
on March 8.
Addressing a packed auditori-
um at City Hall, Port-of-Spain,
Rowley in praising women who
work tirelessly in the workplace
and family circle, said not all
women are treated fairly and
many of them are subjected to
violence and abuse which have
been grabbing the headlines in
the daily newspapers within re-
As she poured her heart out,
Rowley mentioned one of her
friends---a 70-year-old woman
who remains a victim of domes-
tic violence at the hands of her
alcoholic and abusive husband.
"We see the reports daily in
the newspapers. I am beginning
to sound like a stuck record....
senseless violence against our
women is a national plague.
And it matters not who you are
or where you come from."
In some sectors of society, she
said the abuse of women is suf-
fered in silence.
While the URP choose the
theme titled Women in the
Changing World of Work to hon-
our IWD, Rowley asked: "Can a
woman hold down a job when
she is persistently absent from
work because she has to deal with
being bruised and battered in the
home because her man want to
show that he is the boss?"
Nor can she be alert on her job,
Rowley said because half of the
night she is up rubbing the feet
of her alcoholic husband.
"And if she stops for a second
is licks for her. And listen to this
one, where the smell of dog mess
he threw on her because she did
not clean it up...lingers in her
nostrils. That is the story of a
very close friend of mind. My
friend is almost 70 and life has
On a regular basis, Rowley
said, the perpetrator threatens to
kill this woman and her children.
Rowley said while Singing
Francine in one of her calyp-
soes urged victims of domestic
violence and abuse to run away
"It is not that easy to run away.
They live in fear of these men.
We cannot leave them alone. We
cannot ignore the unacceptable
instance of violence committed
by our men against our women
and girls. We as Trinidadians and
Tobagonians, men and women
cannot remain indifferent to
the challenges which we face
as a country in relation to such
violence," Rowley told the at-
tendees, many of whom shook
their heads in agreement.
She said as parents, we have
a role to play in correcting this
situation by teaching children
the right values, as there must
be rules and standards by which
they must follow.
"We have to teach our sons
to respect women. We have to
teach our children to respect
themselves and to respect others.
They must respect law and order.
They must respect the proper-
ty of others. They must respect
authority. They must respect
God. We must guide them with
the choices they make in life."
Rowley pleaded with parents
to fulfil their children's potential
through education, help them
develop skills and become em-
But above all, she said children
must be taught to be upright cit-
Sharon Rowley, left, wife of Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley looks
on as Shania Julien of the Dan Kelly Improvement Committee
performs to Dveon Matthews and Ella Andall's 'D Journey (Make
it)' during the Unemployment Relief Programme's (URP)
commemoration of International Women's Day themed "Be Bold for
Change - Women in The Changing World of Work" at City Hall in
Port-of-Spain yesterday. PHOTO: AYANNA KINSALE
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Chaguanas mother of one Sharlene Somai
told relatives she was leaving home to buy a
phonecard at a nearby parlour on Tuesday and
has not been seen since.
Somai, 23, of Petersfield Road, Chaguanas, left
home around 7.30 pm and her brother Christopher,
22, says her family is now frantic to find her. She was
last seen wearing flower-patterned shorts, a brown
strap top and brown slippers.
Christopher said his sister would never leave her
"She is accustomed
going to the parlour for
phonecards because it is
about one minute walk
from our house. When
we noticed a little later
in the evening that she
had not come back, we
started calling her cell-
phone non-stop but she
never picked up," he said.
"She would not leave
her son and it is not like
her to stay out overnight,
as she was supposed to go and open her food business
for 4 o'clock this morning in the Bamboo."
Around 3 am on Wednesday, another of Somai's
brothers discovered her cellphone on the porch of the
family home. Her car was still parked in the garage.
Somai lives with her mother, brothers, her son and
her common-law husband, Suraj.
The family made a report to the Chaguanas Police
Station yesterday morning.
Anyone with information on Somai's whereabouts
is asked to call 800-TIPS or contact the police at 555,
999, 911 or any police station.
Missing... Sharlene Somai
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