Amidst criticisms from Muslim organisations that the People's Partnership was against Muslim people, Community Development Minister Nizam Baksh yesterday urged Muslim women to become passionate advocates for women in leadership positions. Speaking at the National Muslim Women's Organisation of T&T's tenth annual general meeting at Paria Suites, La Romain, yesterday, Baksh said it was time for women's concerns to be placed on the agenda of all citizens.
Baksh said: "Women are the ones who will hold down the fort. I challenge the Muslim Women's Organisation to become a passionate advocate for all the women of T&T. "This Government acknowledges the challenges women face and obstacles they overcome and the contributions they make." He said the National Muslim Organisation has been an example of what women could and should do.
"I urge you to make this an opportunity to share the challenges and issues you face as wives, sisters and mothers and women," he added. Despite beliefs from some sectors of Islam that women should not hold high office, Baksh said: "The voices of Muslim women must be heard and they must be part of the comprehensive agenda to move Muslims forward." He noted that women must play critical roles in T&T as leaders of the next generation.
"There are women who run a household and still advance a career. Every day women bravely confront challenges that men can barely imagine," Baksh said to loud applause. He urged Muslim groups to take part in Government's clean up and beautify programmes, as well as other initiatives. Also attending the event was US ambassador to T&T Beatrice Wilkinson, her press officer Duffie Winters and president of the association Donna Ali.