Women leaders honored for their community service


Zalayhar Hassanali Photo: Heroes of Trinidad and Tobago Facebook page.

Three women from different professional backgrounds have been honored for their contributions to society and service to the community by the International Women’s Forum of TT (IWFTT).

An awards ceremony and dinner was held at the Kapok Hotel, Port of Spain on Thursday evening.

The winners are the widow of former President Noor Hassanali, Zalayhar Hassanali, lawyer Lynette Seebaran-Suite, SC and Professor Rhoda Reddock.

Hassanali, who has been recognized for her work in her activities with various non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to empower women, girls and people with disabilities.

Accepting her award, Hassanali thanked the IWFTT for recognizing women’s work in building stronger communities while encouraging others for their commitment to service.

Recalling her late husband’s emphasis on families in building a better nation, Hassanali stressed that families were crucial in raising responsible and caring citizens.

“I congratulate and salute you as an organization, because I know that all of these women are that kind of people, with so much love to share, and so much love to consider and consider and really do so much , not really for yourself, but for your family and for your country.

“And my husband talked about families at every opportunity, because families really make a big difference. You can tell when someone comes from a good family. You can tell when they have that family background.”

Hassanali added that she looked forward to the next generation of leaders stepping forward and working for a more inclusive and compassionate society, but understood the challenges.

“We are always looking for young people to replace us. Unfortunately, a lot of young people say they need a salary, and I can understand that.

“We did it all on our own, but the younger ones need the money because it’s a difficult time.”

Seebaran-Suite commended IWFTT members for their own work in different fields and said such occasions provide valuable insight into their work.

She also said that while the work of the current winners was celebrated, it was also important to remember the contributions of past pillars.

She chose “just one of the pillars of the journey to secure the rights of women, girls, families and vulnerable groups in general, that is our dear genius campaigner Hazel Brown”. Brown, former coordinator of the NGO Network for the Advancement of Women, died at age 80 on September 22.

Seebaran-Suite was celebrated for its work promoting the rights of women and girls.

Reddock’s sister, Cynthia Reddock, accepted the award on her behalf and thanked the IWFTT for appreciating her work advocating for women’s rights.


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