As it’s our second issue of the WE magazine, we saw it apt to recognise one woman who is holding the torch of women empowerment higher than anyone in our country. President: H.E. Ms Pennelope Althea Beckles, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago to the United Nations, holds the position of Chair to the United Nations (UN) Women. UN Women is dedicated to gender equality and the empowerment of women. According to the UN website, all human development and human rights issues have gender dimensions. This is why UN Women focuses on priority areas that are fundamental to women’s equality and that can unlock progress across the board. With women around the world lacking access to decent employment and facing gender wage gaps, the UN Women was established to accelerate progress on meeting their needs worldwide. While this progress is something to celebrate, Trinbagonians have the added joy of knowing that a woman of our soil is at the head of it, championing women’s causes in several spheres.
Beckles-Robinson, originally of Borde Narve Village in the south of Trinidad, attended St Raphael’s Grade School and St Joseph’s Convent, San Fernando. She graduated from the University of the West Indies, Barbados and Hugh Wooding Law School, henceforth her journey to shaping a future for women – whether or not she even knew it then- began. We celebrate this positioning for Beckles-Robinson not only for holding the seat as the Chair of UN Women but as an attorney, former senator and minister, having served as the first female deputy Speaker and as lady vice-chair of the People’s National Movement.
While the world has achieved progress towards gender equality and women’s empowerment, we are happy to be guided by our very own on the way forward.