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A sction of participants in the Vigil for Ashanti Riley outside the Red House on Abercromby Street, Port-of-Spain, on Saturday.

Stay safe and get home safely.

This was the advice from Trade and Industry Minister Paula Gopee-Scoon to the women working at the supermarkets and manufacturing plants around this country.

In recent times attacks against women have come to the fore.

Gopee-Scoon alluded to the situation as she delivered the feature address at the supermarket association’s award ceremony held on Sunday.

“More than ever especially with the turn of events more recently we extend a special heartfelt thanks to all of those women at the supermarkets who are cashing, filling the shelves doing orders and even all of them in the manufacturing plants and so on doing three hour shifts stay safe, get home safely,” Gopee-Scoon said.

Gopee-Scoon also lauded the supermarkets for keeping the country fed during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Today we can look back in March and April and happily say that there was no shortage of food in Trinidad and Tobago the local supply chain worked very, very well,” she said.

At the award Tara Baldah was given a Long Service Award for her contributions.

In 1986 Baldah in partnership with her brother Seeram started Eaton Supermarket on Mausica Road, D’Abadie.

It later relocated to the Eastern Main Road in D’Abadie.

Seeram passed away in March..

The issue of the safety of women in the workplace was also raised this morning when the International Labour Organisation held a webinar titled Creating a Post-pandemic future of work in the Caribbean.

President of the Caribbean Congress of Labour Andre Lewis told the webinar that steps need to be taken to address abuses.

Lewis said the situations were heightened during the pandemic because of the restrictions put in place to stop the spread of the virus.

“I want to call for an end to domestic violence, an end to sexual harassment and abuse, an end to child abuse, yes and an end to sexual harassment, these are frontal issues that as as people we must address,”Lewis said.

“Certainly because of the lockdown one of the unintended consequences of these matters has been an increase in these issues as people are more kept together against their will at home and we know the social challenges we have had so I want to put that front and centre to be addressed,” he said.