MINISTER of Community Development, Culture and the Arts Dr Nyan Gadsby-Dolly is encouraging girls to consider politics as a way of being patriotic and serving their country.
At the DigiGirlz Day event at the Microsoft office in St James on Saturday, she said patriots showed their love for their country by seeking to serve and improve it.
She acknowledged that being an MP or a politician was not easy because it was a lot of work and, because politicians performed at a national level, it opened an individual up to criticism without an opportunity to explain or defend themselves.
But she told the audience, they should not close themselves off to a life of public service because it was an important job that allowed them to make policies. Gadsby-Dolly said the policymakers ran the country and TT needed good, strong, educated, committed leaders.
“Policy decisions run our country. Someone has to do it. Why can’t it be you? Think about your strengths, what you have to offer, and don’t close yourself off to a life of public service at the highest level.”
Gadsby-Dolly admitted it was more difficult for women in politics because the job took up a lot of time and, culturally, women held most of the responsibility to care for children. However she said it was critical that women take their place in the decision-making processes and leadership roles of the country to a higher level.
“As difficult as it may be sometimes, I want you to be open to the idea of ‘Who’s going to run the country in a couple years? Who’s going to make the policy decisions? Who’s going to be a part of that system?’ And going further than that, ‘Why can’t I be a part of that system? What are some of the things that I would like to see? What are some of the ideas that I think would make the country better?’”
Lisette Maxime-Hernandez, Microsoft Territory Channel manager, explained that DigiGirlz Day was a one-day event at multiple Microsoft locations around the world.
Attending the event were about 60 students from schools in Port of Spain, Central and South.