Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : March 8th 2018 Contents 2018, the time is now for them
to be met.
The fight for equality and
The fight of activists to trans-
form women’s lives has been
broader then the initial de-
mands of 1908.
The fight for equality and
against gender-based violence is
an important part of the global
movement for women’s rights,
equality and justice.
Much has been said about
women taking up leadership
roles, about “breaking the glass
ceiling” and the like. However,
on a global scale only a relative
few countries are led by women.
In business, in the US for exam-
ple, it is estimated that women
hold only 14 per cent of execu-
tive leadership positions.
In many trade unions, right
here in T&T, where the work-
places represented have a ma-
jority of women workers, the
union leaderships still don’t
reflect the membership in the
number of women leaders.
The myths about leaders
(men) being born and the “new-
ness” of leadership for women
are part of the ideological ap-
paratus of women’s oppression
and supporting inequality.
Leadership is skill and art.
There is no genetic proclivity
to either skill or art in my view.
So, leadership being natural to
either males or females is itself
a myth. Things might get more
complex but no less mythical if
we apply current definitions of
“gender” based on sexual orien-
tation or preference. This “more
natural leader” fallacy is part of
the outlook and argument in
support of male chauvinism and
oppression of women.
In 2018, the time is now to
debunk all this gender stereo-
typing and stop the denial of
leadership roles for women in
every aspect of social activity.
Much worse, the cycle of vio-
lence against women, of abuse
that is violent, criminal, psycho-
logical, financial or otherwise
It is only in our murder statis-
tics that women are occupying
space resembling parity. This is
not an achievement. It is a stain
on the quality of our society that
we continue, and increasingly
so, to unleash the most savage
violence against women. The
time is now to step up our ac-
tivism and put a halt to violence
against women and girls.
Whether it is empowering
our women, in the towns or
countryside, giving guarantee
to women’s rights, equality and
justice, we cannot leave things
up to others. We must become
activists for the rights of all and
for a society that guarantees the
rights of all its members.
For International Women’s
Day 2018 the time is now to get
up, stand up and get involved in
the fight for the future we desire.
Thursday, March 8, 2018
Receipt Book # 1018101-1018200
In 1908, woken workers marched
through the streets of New York City
raising their demands for voting
rights, better pay and shorter work-
In 1910, Clara Zetkin leader of
the women’s office of the German
Social-Democratic Party proposed
that every country celebrate Interna-
tional Women’s Day to push for the
demands of women.
In 1911, more than one million
women, celebrated International
Women’s Day on March 19 in several
European countries and Australia.
Their banner: Forward to Female
In 1913, International Women’s Day
was moved to March 8, the date was
recognised by the United Nations and
is celebrated worldwide since 1975.
This year the UN’s theme for Inter-
national Women’s Day is The Time
is Now: Rural and urban activists
transforming women’s lives”. This is
a celebration of the rural and urban
activists who have transformed the
lives of women around the world,
whether in local grassroots cam-
paigns or global movements for the
rights of women and a more equal
Where are we 110 years after New
When the women took to the
streets of New York their demands
• The right to vote;
• better pay;
• shorter working hours;
More than a century later, we mark
the centenary of women’s suffrage in
the UK though with property limits,
women’s right to vote was intro-
duced in the People’s Representation
Act of February 6, 1918.
Today, there are still a few coun-
tries in which women still have to
demand “universal female suffrage
without qualifications” as was raised
at an International Conference of So-
cialist Women in 1907.
The right to vote and to participate
in governance as candidates and rep-
resentatives is still to be universally
The issue of pay
The demand of women, not just for
better but equal pay with men for the
same job, is still yet to be achieved in
most of the world’s countries.
The World Economic Forum esti-
mated in 2017 it could still take an-
other 100 years before pay inequality
disappears. It was analysed that
women work “for free” for at least 51
days a year because of the pay gap.
At the start of this year, a new law
making it illegal to pay women less
than men came into effect. But too
many countries are still lagging and
paying women substandard pay and
denying pay equality.
Shorter working hours
The demand for shorter work-
ing hours was taken up by workers,
women and men, all over the world
and the standard of the 40-hour
work week and eight-hour day was
won almost everywhere. There are
ongoing battles as employers, includ-
ing Governments, have been pushing
measures to extend working hours
using various subterfuges.
In all these three demands, in
Transforming women’s lives
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