Jack: Govt needs more women in top positions
Independent Liberal Party (ILP) interim political leader Jack Warner yesterday donned his feminist cap, championing the promotion of women and criticising the Government’s inability to appoint women to more positions of power.
“This Government, which promised so much for our women, has become the greatest disappointment for female growth and development in our country…we find the presence of women less and less in positions of power in Trinidad and Tobago and this, under our first female Prime Minister (Kamla Persad-Bissessar). No female Prime Minister would stunt the growth of women the way in which this Government has expelled them from seats of power,” Warner admonished during an ILP rally at the Arima Borough Corporation car park, Arima.
He said the perception of the “cabal” was to see women as weak and to disrespect them.
“Some are known to have historically abused women and continue to do so at the work place, so 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.
He noted that out of the 12 senators appointed by the Government only one is a woman, Marlene Coudray.
Out of a Cabinet of 34, he said, only three, including Persad-Bissessar, are women.
He added that it was not only in Cabinet that women were marginalised, but also in ambassadorial appointments, with four out of 14 ambassadors being women.
“Tell me if there is not a concerted effort to keep women below the feet of men in positions of servanthood rather than leadership… I can tell you without fear of contradiction that the only reason why women are being denied access to seats of power is because they are less corrupt than men. So I am begging the Prime Minister for once to stand up against the cabal and make women equal in our society,” Warner said.
He then urged women to join the ILP, vote and “stand up in support of yourself”.
Warner said, like he did for the Chaguanas West by-election, that he had no intention of personally attacking Persad-Bissessar or her family.
“All I ask is that when she looks in the mirror on a morning, if she sees the same Kamla now in 2013 as in 2010. I will attack her cabal which has imprisoned her, but I will not attack her,” he said.
Opposition leader Dr Keith Rowley, however, was fair game.
Warner slammed Rowley for criticising his ability as a leader, saying that Rowley “has not visited a quarter of the countries I visited; who has not met a quarter of the world leaders I met; who will never be revered among his students as much as I have been revered”.
He then showed a video showcasing his many encounters with world leaders.
He noted the “legacy” he left behind as a history teacher and jibed Rowley, asking him what was his.
Warner also used his opportunity to let voters know some of his campaign promises if the ILP were to be elected into government, including ending the tenure stresses of contract workers, especially among young people, in government jobs, and will “take control of the spiralling costs of house rents”.
“The ILP will correct all of that and more when we get into central government, but before we do that we have to get into local government,” Warner said.