The women’s arm of the United Workers Party (UWP) says it is condemning statements concerning Monel Williams made by prime minister, Roosevelt Skerrit, during a Dominica Labour Party (DLP) rally held in Calibishie on Wednesday night.
“If I had a daughter, ladies and gentlemen, I would wish for her to one day be a Catherine Daniel, to be an Athenia Benjamin, to be a Nurse Charles or to be a Roselyn Paul,” Skerrit told supporters. “I would definitely not wish for my daughter to be a Monel Williams because I might end up short of a grandchild.”
Williams is the UWP candidate for the St. Joseph Constituency.
The statement has been causing a stir on social media and president of the UWP’s women’s arm, Letricia Cadette, described it as “disgraceful” and “a gross disrespect” for women.
“In the last few hours I have read and listened to many comments on the statements made by the prime minister where (he) claimed, if he had a daughter he would not want that girl to be like Senator Monel Williams nor would he want his son to be like Lennox Linton,” she said. “It is the prerogative of Mr Skerrit in his private capacity to wallow in the gutters.”
However, she said, Skerrit “still has a duty to behave and conduct himself in an upright manner as a prime minister should. Mr. Skerrit in his utterances have disrespected all the women of Dominica.”
Cadette is condemning the statement and is calling on all Dominican women, the Bureau of Gender Affairs and the National Council of Women to do the same.
She also had some direct words for the prime minister.
“Sir, it was not too long ago that your representative signed a document on your behalf and that of the Dominica Labour Party that you would adhere to the rules of an election code of conduct,” she stated.
She went on to say it is the courage of Williams “standing up against all odds that will inspire women to have a voice.”
“It is the fortitude of Monel to finish the journey that will encourage young women to work hard. It is the strength she has portrayed as a single mother determined to succeed that will give rise to single mothers, high school dropouts and women with similar means to persevere,” Cadette said.