Hazel Brown, co-ordinator of the Network of NGOs for the advancement of women, hopes after the October 21 local government elections that 50 per cent of councillors will be women as well as 50 per cent of aldermen elected under the newly-implemented proportional representation.Brown made the announcement yesterday at a news conference at the Professional Centre, Fitzblackman Drive, Port-of-Spain. She said the network has been holding skills training sessions for women to ensure that those interested in being representatives at the local government level were well prepared to do so.
Brown also said the network supported the introduction of proportional representation. All over the world, she said, the system favours women. When asked if she agreed with the method by which it was being implemented, Brown said she would have liked to see a more substantial number of reforms, such as allowing councils to collect house and building taxes.She said women from all of the local government regions met on September 7, at Capital Plaza, Port-of-Spain and re-convened the Women's Political Platform.The platform, she said, set a target that of the 134 seats for councillors, 67 will be women and of the 56 aldermen, 28 will be women.
Brown said the platform also called on political parties to nominate women in winnable seats as councillors and to include four women on their party list for aldermen for each council the party contests. The group has also called for a quota of youth on the list of potential aldermen.The platform, which consists of a non-partisan collective of women in the transformation of politics in T&T, also agreed to request an early meeting with newly-appointed Gender Minister Clifton De Coteau and senator Raziah Ahmed.Brown said in some councils there were no women.