Those of us engaged in social justice recognise that we stand on the shoulders on giants. We are not the first and hopefully we will not be the last in this work to make our communities, countries, region and the world, a more equal place for everyone. 𝗪𝗵𝗲𝗻 𝘆𝗼𝘂 𝘁𝗵𝗶𝗻𝗸 𝗼𝗳 𝗖𝗮𝗿𝗶𝗯𝗯𝗲𝗮𝗻 𝗳𝗲𝗺𝗶𝗻𝗶𝘀𝘁𝘀, 𝗼𝗳 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗴𝗶𝗮𝗻𝘁𝘀 𝘄𝗵𝗼 𝗺𝗮𝗱𝗲 𝗶𝘁 𝘁𝗵𝗲𝗶𝗿 𝗹𝗶𝗳𝗲’𝘀 𝘄𝗼𝗿𝗸 𝘁𝗼 𝗿𝗲𝗮𝗹𝗶𝘀𝗲 𝗮 𝗯𝗲𝘁𝘁𝗲𝗿 𝘄𝗼𝗿𝗹𝗱 𝗶𝗻 𝗲𝘃𝗲𝗿𝘆 𝘀𝗽𝗮𝗰𝗲 𝘁𝗵𝗮𝘁 𝘄𝗼𝗺𝗲𝗻 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝗴𝗶𝗿𝗹𝘀 𝗼𝗰𝗰𝘂𝗽𝘆, 𝗛𝗮𝘇𝗲𝗹 𝗕𝗿𝗼𝘄𝗻 𝗶𝘀 𝗶𝗺𝗺𝗲𝗱𝗶𝗮𝘁𝗲𝗹𝘆 𝗼𝗻𝗲 𝗼𝗳 𝘁𝗵𝗼𝘀𝗲 𝘄𝗼𝗺𝗲𝗻 𝘆𝗼𝘂 𝗰𝗮𝗹𝗹 𝘁𝗼 𝗺𝗶𝗻𝗱.This was Hazel Brown – every day she seemed to think of what else can I do, whom else can I reach out to, to get the understanding across and importantly the action – the positive movement forward for gender equality at a much-accelerated pace.
For UN Women MCO Caribbean, Hazel Brown a founding member and long-standing Coordinator of the Network of NGOs of Trinidad and Tobago For The Advancement of Women, was a crucial partner. She was in the negotiating sessions for the Beijing Platform for Action, at the Commission on the Status of Women and the lead up to these with our regional meetings in Latin America during which her contribution was acknowledged in 2020, and of course at sub regional meetings in the Caribbean.
Hazel celebrated culture and used it as a critical medium for advocacy. This included using the Baby Doll character to highlight the single mother and pressing the point of the need for the support of the father, in the interest of the child’s overall welfare.
“One of the things I learned early on, that standing up for something and being strong in it, has a price that you had to be willing to pay. If you are not willing to pay the price you may as well go along with the crowd.” Hazel Brown, in an interview with UN Women MCO Caribbean in 2020
She led initiatives to increase the number of women in politics and she worked for women’s economic empowerment. She described violence against women and girls and changing the culture that normalised this type of violence, as one of the most pressing issues of our time. Hazel lobbied in the halls of justice and Parliament, and she literally walked up and down in the streets of Port of Spain seeking justice and empowerment and ultimately equality for women. Hazel we will not forget your legacy, we will do what we can to continue to build on it, and we will miss you.
UN Women Photo/Sharon Carter-Burke