I was deeply saddened to learn of the passing of my dear friend and sister, Hazel Brown. I had known Hazel for many years, having met her when I first entered public life as an Alderman in the late 1980s. During my time as Prime Minister, I always valued her wise counsel and respected her for speaking up on issues that required action.
As a gender and consumer rights activist, Hazel always stood for the oppressed and those unfairly discriminated against. She fearlessly championed equal rights and worked tirelessly to advance women’s rights. It was for her advocacy and work in this area that I took the decision in 2011 to appoint her as Special Envoy on Women and Gender Equality.
She was a strong advocate for the development of a National Gender Policy for Trinidad and Tobago to address the issue of discrimination against women and girls.
Our society and lives today have all been greatly improved through her contributions and sacrifices, and her passing is a great loss to our country.
Hazel was truly a powerhouse and a catalyst for improving the lives of so many here at home and throughout the region.
Today, our nation mourns the passing of a true patriot, who dedicated her life to service and the upliftment of her fellow countrymen and women.
As we reflect on her legacy of service and activism, we must seek to honour her by continuing the work of building a nation that she envisioned; a nation in which all citizens can live productive lives and prosper.
I offer my sincere condolences to her friends, colleagues, and family, as well as to everyone who has been inspired by this remarkable woman, Hazel Brown.
I pray that you find strength during this difficult time.
May she rest in peace.
Kamla Persad-Bissessar, SC, MP
Leader of the Opposition