Women in Trinidad and Tobago

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Women in Trinidad and Tobago
Africa unite symposium.jpg
Trinidadian and Tobagonian women during an "Africa Unite" symposium
Gender Inequality Index
Value 0.311
Rank 50th
Maternal mortality (per 100,000) 46
Women in parliament 27.4%
Females over 25 with secondary education 59.4%
Women in labour force 54.9%
Global Gender Gap Index[1]
Value 0.7166 (2013)
Rank 36th out of 136

Women in Trinidad and Tobago are women who were born in, who live in, or are from Trinidad and Tobago. Depending from which island the women came from, they may also be called Trinidadian women or Tobagonian women respectively.[2] Some women in Trinidad and Tobago now excel in occupations such as being microenterprise owners, "lawyers, judges, politicians, civil servants, journalists, and calypsonians". Other women still dominate the fields of "domestic service, sales, and some light manufacturing".[2]

Women of Afro-Trinidadian mix commonly become "heads of households", thus with acquired "autonomy and power". By participating in Trinidad and Tobago's version of the Carnival, Trinidadian and Tobagonian women demonstrate their "assertive sexuality". Some of them have also been active in so-called Afro-Christian sects and in running the "sou-sou informal rotating credit associations".[2]

Notable women[edit]

Among the prominent women of Trinidad and Tobago are Elma Francois and Kamla Persad-Bissessar.

Elma Constance Francois (14 October 1897 - 1944) was an Africentric activist who, on 25 September 1987, was declared as a "national heroine of Trinidad and Tobago".[3]

Kamla Persad-Bissessar (born on 22 April 1952)[4]) is the seventh Prime Minister of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, the sixth person to hold this position. She was sworn in as Prime Minister on 26 May 2010 and is the country's first female Prime Minister.[5]


In the past, Trinidadian and Tobagonian women with East Indian ancestry experience being betrothed when they are still very young through the practice of arranged marriages.[2]

Status and etiquette[edit]

Women in Trinidad and Tobago are expected not to respond to any verbal harassment done by men while in city streets, because such as reply will make those women lose their status.[2]

Police force[edit]

In 1955, Ordinance No. 6 of 195 of the government of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago made it possible to draft into the police force of the country twelve women to "deal with juveniles and female offenders".[6]

Women's groups[edit]

Women's groups in the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago include the following: Concerned Women for Progress, The Group, and Working Women.[2]


  1. ^ "The Global Gender Gap Report 2013" (PDF). World Economic Forum. pp. 12–13. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f Trinidad and Tobago, everyculture.com
  3. ^ Gilkes, Corey. Elma Francois 1897-1944, TriniView.com, November 03, 2002.
  4. ^ Sookraj, Radhica (26 May 2010). "Kamla came from humble beginnings". Trinidad and Tobago Guardian. Retrieved 27 May 2010. 
  5. ^ "PNM lose to Peoples Partnership in Trinidad elections 2010", ttgapers.com, 24 May 2010.
  6. ^ History of the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service", ttps.gov.tt

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]