Young: Men need to get used to women leaders

Women are tak­ing up more promi­nent lead­er­ship roles in gov­er­nance and law en­force­ment and men need to get used to it. That is the view ex­pressed by Min­is­ter of Na­tion­al Se­cu­ri­ty Stu­art Young in his ad­dress at a Na­tion­al Work­shop for the Strength­en­ing of Gen­der Equal­i­ty in Coun­ter­drug Law En­force­ment Agen­cies at the Po­lice Train­ing Acad­e­my yes­ter­day.

"Yes, fo­cus on strength­en­ing on gen­der equal­i­ty and very soon it is go­ing to be us men who are go­ing to have to be fight­ing for the equal­i­ty be­cause we are be­ing left be­hind and that's not a bad thing we just need to be able to cope with it. As women play a greater role and well-de­served role across the board in lead­er­ship through­out Trinidad and To­ba­go," he said.

Young point­ed out that T&T al­ready had sev­er­al women in promi­nent po­si­tions, in­clud­ing three ma­jor lead­er­ship roles with Pres­i­dent Paula-Mae Weekes, Sen­ate Pres­i­dent Chris­tine Kan­ga­loo, House Speak­er Bridgid An­nisette-George and Leader of Gov­ern­ment Busi­ness Camille Robin­son Reg­is. He said sim­i­lar strides are be­ing made in na­tion­al se­cu­ri­ty of­fices and law en­force­ment.

"The Ex­ec­u­tive Di­rec­tor of our Na­tion­al Se­cu­ri­ty Coun­cil is a woman. The head of our spe­cial branch in Trinidad and To­ba­go, again a fe­male leader. Re­cent­ly the De­fence Force launched an ini­tia­tive to push and to en­gen­der and to broad­en the lead­er­ship and al­so the amount of fe­male par­tic­i­pa­tion in the De­fence Force," he said.

Rafael Para­da, chief of the Sup­ply Re­duc­tion Unit of the In­ter Amer­i­can Drug Abuse Con­trol Com­mis­sion, said the in­volve­ment of women in the fight against the drug trade was im­por­tant as re­cent trends sug­gest­ed women had be­come more in­volved in the crim­i­nal acts as well.

"Af­ter analysing cur­rent trends as­so­ci­at­ed with the drug prob­lem, in this par­tic­i­pants em­pha­sised that the di­rect in­volve­ment of women has in­creased ex­po­nen­tial­ly. Women have in­creased their par­tic­i­pa­tion in drug car­tels, even tak­ing on high-lev­el po­si­tions," said Para­da.

He said it was im­por­tant that women get in­volved in drug pol­i­cy dis­cus­sions to aid in the war against drugs.

The three-day work­shop will end on Thurs­day.

 - by Peter Christopher

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