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The construction of our nation state in the post-colonial era saw the inclusion of men’s voices in all areas of development, be it government and politics, business, agriculture, entertainment industry or otherwise.

In the wake of Trinidad and Tobago’s independence, men were pressured into and responsible for proving themselves as effective leaders, fit to govern. This had severe implications for women in society, as our insights and experience were largely unwelcomed and marginalised, so as to confine us to the home or private spaces where traditional gender roles were still encouraged and led to our exclusion from development and decision-making.

This is not to say that there were no women leaders, but how many of us grew up hearing of their greatness? Our rich Caribbean history entails stories of women revolutionaries such as Nanny Griggs, Claudia Jones and, a personal favourite, Prime Minister of Barbados, the Honourable Mia Mottley. Certainly, these women are written into our history as transformational leaders and are perfect examples of the power women possess to do revolutionary things. Dare I say, had the work and wisdom of women been woven into the social fabric of society, gender inequality, gender justice and gender issues would be less rampant today.

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