EDUCATOR and former journalist Dr Kris Rampersad says the gender balance of national awardees needs to improve from under 20 per cent to 50 per cent female.
She received a medal for the Development of Women on Monday night at the national awards ceremony at the National Academy for the Performing Arts, Port of Spain.
She told the media it is always a pleasure to have one's work recognised.
The award for the development of women was introduced a few years ago as part of the drive for gender equity.
"I must say I was very impressed by the balance of the awardees on the list tonight."
She said the population is 50 per cent women and the awards need to reflect that.
"The awards almost reflect the values of a nation, so if we are looking at a nation that is about equity and inclusion, with a nation that is 50 per cent women we would like to see on a list like this 50 per cent women represented."
Rampersad said her comment, however, does not reflect on the people awarded, and it was a very impressive list, "recognising, to a large degree, people who would not have been generally brought into the limelight. There were a lot of awards for culture, for education at the lower levels. It is not so much people in the higher office, which is also something we have been asking for...Not because everybody gets into politics or everybody is a chief justice or what have you."
She said under 20 per cent of the list has been women and there is a great distance to go to get it up to par.
"And I would say not 30 per cent, but 50 per cent next time."