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Friday 23 March 2018

Bring back Gender Affairs Ministry

UNITED National Congress (UNC) Princes Town MP, Barry Padarath, on Friday, appealed to the People’s National Movement (PNM) Government to re-establish the Gender, Youth and Child Development Ministry which existed under the former People’s Partnership government, in which the UNC was the majority party.

Following the September 7 general election, the functions of this former ministry were divided between the Social Development and Family Services Ministry and the Sport and Youth Affairs Ministry.

Padarath, who worked as an aide in the Office of the Prime Minister while the PP was in office, said former prime minister (now Opposition Leader) Kamla Persad-Bissessar, established the former ministry to deal with gender specific and gender sensitive issues and issues pertaining to the nation’s children. Boasting that it was under that Ministry that the Children’s Authority was established, Padarath hoped that Government will not play political games with the lives of the country’s children and honour a commitment made by the PP to provide the Authority with the funding and staffing it requires.

Responsibility for the Children’s Authority falls within Social Development and Family Services Minister Cherrie-Ann Critchlow-Cockburn’s ministerial schedule.

Padarath also claimed the reason the Government placed youth issues with the Sport Ministry is because it saw youth issues as synonymous with sport only. He maintained that youth issues are more complex than that and require greater priority and emphasis.


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