gramkeesoonGema Ramkeesoon

Gema Ramkeesoon was born in Trinidad in 1910 and was active in the Church and in women's organizations. Mrs. Ramkeesoon was the first local Diocesan President of the largest group of Anglican women, the Mothers’ Union; first Chairman of a Women's Prison Visiting Committee; first Secretary of the Day Nursery Association; past President of the Women's Corona Society; a member of the Minimum Wages Council, forerunner to the Industrial Court; and past President of the Soroptomist International, a professional women's organisation. In a delivery to the inaugural seminar in Women and Development Studies in 1986, Gema Ramkeesoon observed: “Today we can enumerate the tremendous strides our women have made. We know of female senators, ministers of government, judges, lawyers, professors of education…At the beginning of the twentieth century, we were none of these. Nevertheless, as a social worker myself, I can be proud of the pioneering contribution we have made. I look now at you educated women, professionally trained, 'financially secure', independently minded, with every possible profession and opportunity open to you. As you stand at the threshold of the twenty-first century, I envy you”.