Credit unions can do more to help abused women
Credit unions have the resources to empower abused women and give them an opportunity to flee dangerous relationships, says Sharon Clark-Rowley, wife of Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley.
Clark-Rowley, speaking at an International Woman’s Day event on Friday at the Brix hotel, Cascade, said she felt credit unions have the resources to empower abused women and give them an opportunity to flee dangerous relationships.
International Women’s Day was celebrated on Wednesday but Friday’s event mainly celebrated the 10th anniversary of Global Women’s Leadership Network – a space created to advance and support credit union women in leadership.
Traditionally credit unions play a vital role in empowering small households to achieving financial stability through their accessible loans and high investments returns.
Clark-Rowley acknowledged it is difficult for many women to an abusive relationship as “they are so paralysed with fear that they are unable to run.”
Speaking as the national champion of the Spotlight initiative, which is a global partnership between the United Nations and the European Union, focused on eliminating gender-based violence against women and girls, Clark-Rowley described violence against women as a never-ending pandemic.
As Clark-Rowley lamented some of the gruesome deaths suffered by women at the hands of their spouse in TT, there were audible gasps from several women in the room and shook their heads in disbelief.
She said credit unions don’t just have the power to help the victims flee, they also have the resources to create initiatives to end gender-based violence.
“Credit union help provide the socio-economic and self development needs of your members and stuff…So against this backdrop you can interact with neighbouring communities to help our sisters who are victims of domestic violence, particularly those who suffer from financial abuse, who are shut out from financial resources by their abusers and who find it more difficult to flee, get a job and build credit.
“You have understood the ability of the credit union to provide financial benefits to its members but the credit union can provide more. You have the ability to provide non-financial support which can serve to promote the confidence and dignity of women and raise the economic consciousness while at the same time offering them social and emotional support”
And while she acknowledged that men are also victims of gender-based violence, she said abuse against women far outweighs that of men.
"Credit unions can do more to help abused women"