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Some men believe they have right to beat women — UNDP official

From left, UNDP assistant resident representative Sharifa Ali-Abdullah, Madinah House patron Zalayhar Hassanali, Madinah House president Lydia Choate and Sabeerah Khan display the new magazine at yesterday’s launch.

Unit­ed Na­tions De­vel­op­ment Pro­gramme (UNDP) as­sis­tant res­i­dent rep­re­sen­ta­tive Shar­i­fa Ali-Ab­dul­lah says cul­tur­al be­liefs con­tribute to the sex­u­al abuse and bat­ter­ing of women and chil­dren in T&T.

Speak­ing yes­ter­day at the launch of a mag­a­zine pro­mot­ing the Mad­i­nah House, a safe house for bat­tered women and chil­dren, Ali-Ab­dul­lah said con­fu­sion over re­li­gious be­liefs has trig­gered vi­o­lence in homes, with some men be­liev­ing they have a moral right to beat their spous­es.

“While the Unit­ed Na­tions has de­clared vi­o­lence against women a pan­dem­ic in 1993, to­day, more than 26 years lat­er, one in three women still ex­pe­ri­ence phys­i­cal and sex­u­al vi­o­lence,” Ali-Ab­dul­lah said.

She not­ed that a 2017 T&T Women’s Health sur­vey re­vealed one in every three women has suf­fered from vi­o­lence at the hands of a part­ner.

“This means that of our 1.4 mil­lion men women and chil­dren, ap­prox­i­mate­ly 130,000 women in T&T have ex­pe­ri­enced some form of vi­o­lence,” she added.

Ali-Ab­dul­lah said Mus­lim women are not spared from the abuse.

“Our cul­tur­al be­liefs fu­el this vi­o­lent at­ti­tude to­wards women and chil­dren. Our no­tions about man­hood and wom­an­hood, love and fam­i­ly are shaped and re­in­forced by mes­sages from re­li­gion and the me­dia and have had a sig­nif­i­cant in­flu­ence on what peo­ple be­lieve about the in­ter­ac­tion be­tween men and women,” she said.

She added, “It is clear that Al­lah or­dained that men and women are equal, that they com­ple­ment each oth­er, but equal­i­ty does not mean same­ness. The Mus­lim woman can choose to par­tic­i­pate and re­spond ap­pro­pri­ate­ly to the needs of her fam­i­ly, com­mu­ni­ty and coun­try.”

Say­ing there was a war against fam­i­ly and mar­riage, Ali-Ab­dul­lah said the me­dia al­so con­tributes to­wards vi­o­lence as some gen­res of mu­sic den­i­grate and dis­re­spect women and pro­mote the cul­ture of vi­o­lence.

“I want to state my to­tal dis­gust for the man­ner in which some peo­ple use so­cial me­dia to at­tack mar­riage and fam­i­ly and pro­mote dis­re­spect for these in­sti­tu­tions, which nib­bles away and even­tu­al­ly leads to the weak­en­ing of these fun­da­men­tal struc­tures for a peace­ful ex­is­tence,” she said.


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3 comments to this article

  1. Trini

    on March 10, 2019 at 4:49 pm - Reply

    This caption is misleading on so many levels. Men of every persuasion be it Trinidadian, Jamaican. American have misogynistic tendencies. While this is presented to educate we need to not be so quick to label the proponents of the behavior but rather the symptoms without assigning ethnic labels.

  2. Real

    on March 10, 2019 at 5:15 pm - Reply

    Yow between dem and di vincy dem and I am not talking all … mek mi feel se a man carry dem inna this world dem do Oman some sitten …..

  3. Anonymous

    on March 10, 2019 at 10:57 pm - Reply


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