Last update: 09-Dec-2013 1:43 am
Monday, December 09, 2013
Trinidad & Tobago Guardian Online
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Warner laments over scarcity of women in power
Jumping onto the Network of NGOs for the Advancement of Women bandwagon, which has been clamouring for an even amount of women and men in political parties, Independent Liberal Party (ILP) leader Jack Warner charged that the Government, which promised so much for women, has become the greatest disappointment for female growth and development in our country. And he is blaming the “cabal” in the Government for that, which, he said, saw women as weak.
He added: “In a nation that was supposed to be moving towards gender equity, where access to institutions and positions in our society was equally open to all, regardless of race or ethnicity, sex or gender, youth or age and religious orientation, we find the presence of women less and less in positions of power.” He made the comments during his address at an ILP meeting in Arima on Sunday night. He said: “The perception of the cabal is that they see women as weak. They disrespect them.
“I am not laying the disappearance of women from within our leadership structure at the feet of our Prime Minister but rather on the narrow shoulders of a patriarchal and chauvinistic cabal whose actions show the greatest of disrespect to our women.” Warner said of only one of the 12 senators (Marlene Coudray) appointed by the People’s Partnership is a woman. Of the 34 Cabinet members only three, including the Prime Minister are women. Women have also been marginalised in the ambassadorial appointments.
“Of 14 ambassadorial appointments made by this Government, only four were given to women and I am not talking here about consuls.” Doubly worse, he said, was the distribution of the budget allocation between men and women in the Cabinet. “Do you know that in a $61 billion budget, women are given less than $2.5 billion to spend?” he asked. Claiming that the men in the ILP stand strong in support of women, Warner called on women to join the party.
Shifting to the utilisation of State resources for political gain, Warner claimed that the Government, which took away State programmes Cepep and the URP from the East/West Corridor and moved them to the South, was now trying to reverse the situation to win votes. He said: “We spoke to them constantly about the folly of taking URP, Cepep, food cards, housing, social benefits, from the East/West corridor and carrying them down South but they did not listen.
“But now as reality has hit home and they have realised that they have lost the Corridor, they have appointed Richard Thomas, of the Attorney General’s office, who lives in Arouca, the new director of the URP. “They have told him to reverse things. Give URP contracts like crazy.” Warner told the Arimians: “Take it and vote them out.”
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