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posted 11 May 2014, 18:18 by Gerry Kangalee   [ updated 11 May 2014, 18:19 ]
Nicole Hendrickson
The National Workers Union (NWU) held the second in its series of “Conversations" on Thursday 9th May at its offices in Barataria. “Conversations” is an open forum to facilitate and encourage dialogue on relevant issues affecting our Trinidad and Tobago community. The platform serves to remind that the trade union movement's remit is not solely economic but it must address broader social issues if we are going to be able to defend our class interests and impact on national development.

The lead for the evening session was Sister Nicole Hendrickson and her topic was "Sexual Health and Reproductive Rights.” As some of us said after the session, we anticipated a session labouring on 'abortion issues'', “gender bias'', 'the role of women in the society''...the usual pelau. Some of us, especially this reviewer, did his research.. Fortunately, the likes of him could not have been more wrong.

Nicole chose to guide rather than lead the session and began by asking the room to define the topic and this stratagem gave the
evening and the discourse its tenor. We all ended up "re'-viewing, re-vealing, re-alising, re-vising, re-assessing, re-visiting long held notions about sex, gender, sexual education, sexual practices, the role/s of institutions wittingly or unwittingly in what we imagine to be our private lives.

It was agreed that the topic had only been touched. For the discussions revealed that there has emerged a whole new culture of sexual identity and practice which, being emergent, is of necessity ill defined. That there are 'elders' out there who had better embrace this reality, in spite of our deep seated anxieties and long held beliefs.

That the topic goes beyond the boudoir and is impacted on by economic and social factors and as in so many other areas, there are seriously contending forces struggling to control and define And as requested the topic has to be revisited.