Thursday 23 November, 2017

Kamla 'disturbed' by PM's female grooming talk

Opposition leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar has expressed shock and disappointment over statements made by Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley during his contribution to debate on the 2018 Budget last Thursday.

Speaking at the Divali Nagar last night, the Opposition leader said gravely disappointed to hear the utterances of the Prime Minister, once again disrespecting the women of the nation.

"We in the Opposition, and indeed the citizenry are very disturbed by what some have described as the sordid or depraved utterances of the Prime Minister. Such recurring unsavoury pronouncements by him can only serve to contribute to the disrespect being meted out to women and girls in our society."

She called on the nation to reject leadership that is "so demeaning and so disrespectful".  

Persad-Bissessar also expressed her disappointment in Chairperson of the PNM Women's Arm Camille Robinson-Regis' defence of the Prime Minister's comments.

"Further, I am shocked and saddened that the leader of government business in the house has not only supported the Prime Minister, but she has defended these scurrilous attacks on women.

I expected better, and the people of Trinidad and Tobago expect more from those in positions of authority."

Noting that the Prime Minister's remarks came just a day after the observance of the International Day of the Girl where she restated her view that no society will ever attain its full potential until it allows its girls and women to take up leadership roles so they can contribute as equals in advancing national development, Persad-Bissessar encouraged citizens to hold the country's leaders to account. 

"I continue to encourage girls and women of all ages as well as boys and men of all ages to be bold and grab hold of the reins of leadership, speak out against injustice, and bring about positive change in our society," she said.

Recounting a story to the audience of a mother facing eviction from her home, the Opposition leader also called on citizens to reaffirm their commitment to building a stronger, united and prosperous Trinidad and Tobago.

"You know today a mother called...She was crying…crying when telling me of the hardship and suffering of herself and her children, that she has no food to feed her children, she is being threatened with eviction from her home because she has no job from which to make money to provide for her four children and her own mother.

I ask you, let us work together to help our fellow citizens, and help our country to overcome the darkness – the ills that are facing us today, especially the scourge of crime and poverty," Persad-Bissessar urged.