Sunday, April 21, 2024

DLP COLUMN: Gender politics


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Last Tuesday, we celebrated International Women’s Day – this year, the milestone of 100 years of acknowledgement of women’s contribution to our growth and development as a people.
We in the Democratic Labour Party (DLP), through the work of the League of Women, would also like to pay tribute to the females of the DLP. It is through their contribution that our great party is what it is today.
The females of our great party have occupied high office in the party and in Government while doing us proud as a nation. We currently have a solid cadre of females who occupy both the Upper and Lower House. The last by-election was a reflection of the calibre of what we have to offer.
However, it was sad to witness over the period of the by-election and that preceding it, the public attacks on females in politics. These attacks spared no one, as the Opposition also thought it necessary to bastardize their own.  
The public political flogging of Mia Mottley and subsequent attempts to belittle her contribution and capacity have to be of a concern to all females. There can be no divide on party lines when we witnessed what was perpetrated by the Opposition.
The all-male bashing club of the Barbados Labour Party has embarked on a radical programme to “demottlize” and “defemalize” the BLP.
The extension of these public attacks on the female base in the Barbados Labour Party was equally extended to our camp. The very upsetting comments from members of the Opposition directed at our newest Member of Parliament should be placed in context.
There can be no doubt that the Owen Arthur-led Opposition Barbados Labour Party has no value for females at this time. When one seeks to track the history of attacks on females both inside and outside of the Barbados Labour Party, we could agree that there is a trend.
The public firing and labelling of faithful Liz Thompson as cantankerous, along with the public disclosure of private health matters relating to Senator Irene Sandiford-Garner were but two of the most unfortunate actions on the part of the leadership of the Barbados Labour Party. The current construction of the leadership has totally neutered the female voice in the Barbados Labour Party.
If truth be told, we are also hearing of the axing of Cynthia Forde in the next general election to be replaced by another Arthur male supporter. It is clear to us that the Opposition has no value for females in the party who show ambition. The Dame Billies and Liz Thompsons clearly express no more interest in an Arthur-led BLP.
They tolerated it for the sake of Government and are no longer compelled to do such. They are sick of the political bullying of the male team now occupying the high command. These developments are unfortunate as our society tends to look up to our leaders without gender bias.
We in the DLP want to distance ourselves from the above, and urge Barbadian men of whatever calling to remember that our women are to be treated as equals, and not disrespected at the expense of office and power. This twin element has clearly become the call of the Arthur-led team.
To all men who remain committed to treating women as their equals, we salute you and congratulate you.  


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