AMCHAM T&T Launches Anti-Gender Based Violence Initiative For Private Sector

December 9th, 2020    |   Related To: AMERICAN CHAMBER OF COMMERCE OF TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO (AMCHAM T&T)


AMCHAM T&T, in collaboration with The UWI Institute of Gender and Development Studies and the Coalition Against Domestic Violence, is launching an Anti-Gender Based Violence Initiative for private sector entities. The purpose of this Initiative is to prevent all forms of gender-based violence and abuse in the workplace and to help companies develop a workplace policy that supports employees who are victims of gender-based violence.

Nirad Tewarie, CEO of AMCHAM T&T says this initiative reaffirms AMCHAM T&T’s strong commitment to promoting gender equality in the workplace and society. “AMCHAM T&T has been a strong advocate for the promotion of women’s leadership in business and fighting for equality to build a progressive, fully democratic society. Removing obstacles that limit the potential of women to advance in their careers should be a priority for all companies if they intend to reduce gender inequality in their organisations.”

“The training is intended to assist companies to provide resources that will offer support for victims of gender-based violence and identify means to possibly hold more perpetrators accountable. Using the data we get from this Initiative, we will also work with the participating companies, the IGDS and CADV to explore and hopefully develop initiatives to more effectively protect victims of intimate partner violence. AMCHAM T&T believes that implementing workplace policies on gender-based violence will ultimately have a positive impact on the organisation whereby employees are made to feel safe, protected and empowered. Ultimately, this is the type of workplace culture that drives higher rates of productivity, profitability, and performance.”

“Even as we launch this initiative, we are painfully aware that it is the perpetrators who need to be stopped rather than the victims needing to be soothed. That is why we are extremely pleased to be working with two organisations who are on the front lines combatting this issue. Together we hope to be able to do our small part to build the required system to identify and ultimately reduce the prevalence of intimate partner violence (commonly referred to as domestic violence),” Tewarie said.

Speaking to the importance of the Initiative, Dr Gabrielle Hosein, head of the Institute for Gender and Development Studies (IDGS) said: “The data show that 1 in 3 women working in the private sector have experienced physical or sexual partner violence at some point in their lifetime. These women experience higher levels of mental distress, lack of confidence, physical pain and inability to concentrate at work, affecting their ability to earn, lead and succeed. The data also show that the majority do not seek services. However, these women go to work every day and therefore there is a role for the private sector in helping them feel safe and heal, end feelings of shame, break silences, and know that their workplaces are leading in establishing zero tolerance of violence against women, including by identifying and responding to perpetrators with clear workplace guidelines. In showing such leadership, AMCHAM

T&T is continuing to collaborate with the women’s movement and civil society to transform the realities of violence in women’s lives. We aim to keep expanding our partnership, learning from each other, and making whatever difference we can, together.”

The Anti-Gender Based Violence Initiative is designed to address Gender-Based Violence through the execution of a three-phase programme.

Phase one: Survey – How is Gender-Based Violence affecting your employees?

Phase two: Workshop – Understanding Gender-Based Violence and how your organisation can develop a culture of zero-tolerance of Gender-Based Violence. This workshop is tailored to your organisation’s specific needs.

Phase three:  Policy Development – Develop your Workplace Anti-Gender Based Violence Policy.

Companies participating in this initiative will benefit from gender-sensitive training that will discourage all forms of Gender-Based Violence and abuse, address the issues of gender, vulnerability, and marginalization, recognize signs of abuse and offer assistance, and address claims of sexual harassment in the workplace.

AMCHAM T&T would like to congratulate Phoenix Park Gas Processors Limited (PPGPL) which is the first company to participate in this initiative and for actively seeking to address gender-based violence in the workplace.

The Anti-Gender Based Violence Initiative is open to all companies and organisations in Trinidad and Tobago. Interested participants seeking to have their Anti-Gender Based Violence Programme executed at their organisations should contact AMCHAM T&T at 295-4869.

AMCHAM T&T has been a leader on issues of gender parity. Earlier this year we achieved gender parity on our Board of Directors. Our Annual Women’s Leadership event is almost a decade old and we have provided mentorship opportunities for more than 100 professional women over the past three years in collaboration with the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB).

For further questions or comments please contact: Nirad Tewarie, CEO AMCHAM T&T at [email protected]

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