According to the list of candidates published by the Elections and Boundaries Commission (EBC), one third (45 of 150) of the candidates selected across the 19 political parties contesting the elections are women.
This is according to research done by Caribbean Women in Leadership (CIWiL).
In congratulating all female candidates contesting the upcoming Trinidad and Tobago General Elections on August 10, the Council noted that three of the political parties contesting the election are female-led.
“With thirty percent (30%) of the selected election candidates overall being women this ratio meets the minimum threshold established globally for norms and standards in leadership and political participation.”
“This is aligned to the 2011 UN General Assembly resolution on women’s political participation. Additionally, this recognizes that gender equality is not only a fundamental human right, but a necessary foundation for a peaceful, prosperous, and sustainable world. ”
It said Globally, Trinidad and Tobago ranks 50th in the representation of “Women in Politics”.
It added that whilst this is commendable, women still face socio-economic and cultural barriers to their equal participation.
As a result, the Council is calling on political parties and decision-makers to introduce policies and strategies to remove the barriers that deter women from entering politics.
Additionally, CIWiL noted with concern, the limited availability of sex-disaggregated data on women’s involvement and participation in politics.
“The absence of this data makes it difficult to assess election participation or develop appropriate evidence-informed responses and policies needed to increase women’s leadership and involvement in politics and decision making.”
“We, therefore, call on the government of Trinidad and Tobago and state actors such as the EBC, to ensure that data linked to the conduct of elections are available and accessible.”
The equitable inclusion of women from diverse backgrounds in politics and decision making is an important factor to achieving gender equality.
CIWiL invites all stakeholders to collaborate in support of achieving a more just and equitable society, in which women are more involved in the decision-making processes that impact their lives.
It said, “This is even more critical given the economic and social development challenges stemming from the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.”