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DLP mistreats women


rhondathompson, [email protected]

DLP mistreats women

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Barbados Labour Party legacy: in 2002 passed the Tourism Development Act that greatly expanded incentives for investment in tourism and hospitality beyond accommodation to include restaurants, recreational facilities and services; development of attractions emphasizing natural historic and cultural heritage; and for the construction of properties in non-coastal areas.
JUST A FEW WEEKS AGO, the Democratic Labour Party (DLP) went into a frenzy trying to promote itself as the greatest ever champion of Barbadian women when it appointed Kerryann Ifill as the first ever female President of the Senate.
   Of course, people familiar with the DLP’s history of treating women saw this blitz for what it truly was a shallow and cynical attempt to curry favour with a sizeable segment of the population. As if the torrent of propaganda over one deserving female would make all others forget the pressure they are undergoing as a result of the DLP’s nearly five straight years of stubborn economic mismanagement.
Now all of the DLP hype has collapsed with the news that Dr Donna Hunte-Cox has been fired as chief executive officer of the National Cultural Foundation (NCF).
Admittedly, dismissing heads of statutory boards is nothing new or strange to this submerging administration. But what has been outstandingly offensive was the reportedly undignified atmosphere in which she received her marching papers.
   Of course, her firing climaxed a long period of time in which her being virtually CEO in name only was publicly demonstrated by her eventually reportedly not being allowed to make public statements, especially about Crop Over in the way that Dr Allison Leacock freely and frequently did serving under the Barbados Labour Party (BLP), thereby personifying to the nation the dynamism of the festival, in particular, and the cultural thrust of the NCF in general.
   But this decapitation at the NCF is in keeping with the tepid record of the DLP which, despite its many years in Government, only saw it fit in 2008 to appoint women as ministers.
   Prior to that the highest rung they could reach was that of Parliamentary Secretary as experienced by Odessa Gittens, Gertz Eastmond and Maizie Barker-Welch. But then, the DLP has in its 57 years has never had a female president.
   Quite unlike the BLP which from 1951 set the pace for women in politics with the election in St Andrew of (Dame) Ermie Bourne as the first female Member of Parliament, followed in 1976 with (Dame) Billie Miller as the first woman in Cabinet, also becoming the first female Deputy Prime Minister and chairman of the BLP, and Mia Mottley as first female Attorney-General and Opposition Leader.
   We await Senator Irene Sandiford-Garner’s reaction to the removal of Hunte-Cox with her deep roots in the St Andrew which Sandiford-Garner is seeking to represent, given the great deal the Senator said of her perceived “unfair” treatment of women by the BLP.
   The DLP trembled at pictures and reports of the 10 000 plus Barbadians who joined Owen Arthur and the BLP family for a fantastic “Red Coast Road” experience.
   Thank you, Barbados.
• Beresford Leon Padmore is a pseudonym for the Barbados Labour Party.

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