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Women's Involvement in Social Services in Trinidad and TobagoAdd to Queue

  • Posted by : IGDS UWI St. Augustine Unit

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  • Date posted : Jan 01, 1970


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Audrey Jeffers is a woman of the 20th century. She was part of an era of developing feminism and the early years of the women's movement. Through her initiatives, many of the advances that were taking place internationally for women had comparable developments in Trinidad and Tobago. A well-travelled woman from an upper middle class urban background, she returned home to initiate many women's organisations. The best known is the Coterie of Social Workers Inc., established in 1921. She also encouraged women to become involved in the political life of the country. The experiences and insights that she would have gained from her involvement in World War 1 and her studies abroad helped to provide a background for social change and women's involvement in society. This paper outlines the contribution of Audrey Jeffers to establishing a space for women's participation in political life and social change in colonial Trinidad and Tobago. It further illustrates how these early efforts have influenced social developments in independent Trinidad and Tobago. Innette Cambridge designed and developed the undergraduate Social Policy Programme at The UWI, Trinidad and Tobago. She has developed courses in Social Disability Studies, Sociological Family Studies, Social Development Policy and Social Gerontology. She has been a visiting professor at Bordeaux University, France, a consultant to UNESCO and to the All Africa Conference of Churches. In 1983, she founded The Peace Centre, which was designated a Peace Messenger by the United Nations in 1988. As founding secretary of the Association of Caribbean Social Work Educators, (ACSWE) she initiated the ACSWE prize for distinguished social work educators. She is currently the Chairperson of the Port-of-Spain Branch of the Coterie of Social Workers Inc. In 2004, UWI awarded her the UWI/Guardian Life Award for university teaching. Her research interests and publications cover articles on social work education, disability studies, households and vulnerable groups. Dr. Cambridge obtained her Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Sociology from Minnesota State University, Moorhead, U.S.A., a Maîtrise in the Sociology of Development from the University of Paris, France and a Ph.D. in Social Work from the School of Policy Studies, Bristol University, England.

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