Tobago women get training in gender issues

Women participate in the Foundations Programme at the Tobago Technology Centre

The Office of the Prime Minister (Gender Affairs Division) in collaboration with UN Women and YTEPP Tobago successfully completed a four (4) day intensive training on the Foundations Programme with fifteen (15) adult female students at the Tobago Technology Centre.

The Foundations programme is designed to engender an appreciation of core gender concepts such as gender socialization, gender equality and human rights. The overarching goal of the programme is to accelerate action towards preventing gender-based violence (GBV). The curriculum is centred on the awareness of gender justice and human rights as universal and inalienable and utilizes a psychoeducational approach that engages personal interrogation about gendered norms and values.

The training sessions were facilitated by UN Women Gender Advocates Dr. Tracie Rogers and Ms. Nadine Lewis Agard. Dr. Rogers noted that the programme was developed for the Caribbean communities, stating that “the Caribbean has one of the highest per capita incidence of rape, sexual violence, and intimate partner violence in the world. In response to this, UN Women in particular has been thinking about how to create strategies to change the culture around this kind of violence”.

They believe that this must be done by engaging people from all walks of life.

Dr. Rogers highlighted “a lot of the women in the workshop talked about the fact that there are many norms that they have never questioned, that women are supposed to do this and men are supposed to do that, and understanding how these supposed tos actually get in the way of us having loving relationships with each other”.

She further stated that “there are so many things that inform how we see ourselves as men and women and a lot of them are cultural but we can become change agents to change the culture of violence that we deal with in our communities”.

The Foundations Programme development was funded by the Maria Holder Memorial Trust.

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