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Victory for all women

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

The legal victory gained by Therese Ho, the woman who sued cricketer Lendl Simmons in a “revenge porn” case will benefit all women.

This was the view of Executive Director of the Women's Institute for Alternative Development (WINAD) Folade Mutota.

In a telephone interview yesterday, Mutota said she was glad the court had upheld the rights of women.

“We all gained because she was sufficiently firm in her view that her rights had been trampled on,” Mutota said.

The landmark ruling was handed down by Port of Spain High Court Justice Frank Seepersad yesterday.

Seepersad said "the treatment of women as mere objects of pleasure was offensive, derogatory, antiquated, has no place in society and is indicative of the general lack of respect.

“We must ask ourselves, how are we to build a developed nation when we encourage and celebrate disrespect?"

Ho is one of many women in this country to have seen personal intimate photos published to a wider audience that intended.

Fashion designer and former Miss T&T Anya Ayoung-Chee and media personality Ashleia Baksh were both victims of similar situations.

But while their fame launched them into the spotlight, not-so-famous women, like Ho, are also at risk to personal environment from nude photos.

Most recently, a woman posted a status on Facebook alleging that private photos on her mobile device was published online by a worker in a mobile repair store.

Mutota commended Ho for being brave and confident enough to take the matter to court.

“Women have struggled with this for a long time but this ruling has immediately signalled the way for women to respond in the future.”

Asked whether the ruling would make a significant impact, Mutota said this would only happen if a collective stand was taken by more women.

Yesterday Acting Attorney General Stuart Young, when asked about the case, and Seepersad’s comment that current legislation was archaic, said the Cyber Crime Bill, introduced to Parliament last year, would be a part of the new government’s legislative agenda.


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