As we celebrate the 60th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), UNIC Port of Spain has been focused not only on the Declaration itself, but also on promoting all of our activities through the prism of human rights, such as in our observance of International Women’s Day (IWD).
This year, UNIC Port of Spain was involved in IWD celebrations in different parts of Trinidad and Tobago, in particular those targeting young women and girls. We used the opportunity to emphasise the message that women’s rights are fundamental human rights, as stated within the UDHR, and that achieving universal development aspirations - as expressed through the Millennium Development Goals – is directly related to women’s empowerment.
On 8 March 2008, we were pleased to support the annual sport festival for women and girls staged by the Trinidad and Tobago Ministry of Sport and Youth Affairs, through which the Ministry aimed to “raise awareness of the contribution women make to the sporting lifestyle and activity in Trinidad and Tobago, while encouraging women and girls to participate in physical activity to improve their lives”. Female teams and individual athletes were invited to participate in 11 events, in competition for over $10,000 USD in prizes. Women who had contributed to sport and sporting administration in Trinidad and Tobago were also honoured in a special ceremony held towards the close of the day.
While the primary focus of the festival was sport, the Ministry also used this opportunity to promote women’s health through its “health caravan” (vans and stalls), which provided services such as pap smears, breast cancer screening, and fitness testing, as well as information desks on general well-being, youth health issues and HIV/AIDS.
Our office also provided information support to such NGOs as the Caribbean Association for Feminist Research and Action (CAFRA) and the Network of NGOs for the Advancement of Women - for exhibitions and information sessions; and to the Hindu Women’s Organisation of Trinidad and Tobago for a girls’ conference organised to address the empowerment of women and girls. We look forward to strengthening our alliances with the women’s movement across the entire Caribbean sub-region over the coming year and to even stronger, more widespread involvement in IWD activities in 2009. Please click here for UNIC Director's remarks. (64.50 kb)