St Lucia opposition leadership under renewed attack from women’s group

In a letter on Monday to UWP chairman Ezekiel Joseph, WIA president Edith Petra Jeffrey-Nelson referred to a national council meeting held in the constituency of Castries South East on Sunday, where the chairman of the constituency group, Terry Valcin reportedly indicated that he has “no respect for Women In Action”.

“It is not surprising that the chairman of the Castries South East Constituency Group would espouse his disrespect for women; such dastardly actions of denigration in absentia have become common place in the United Workers Party especially from members who feel intimidated by the women who hold executive positions in WIA,” Jeffrey-Nelson said.

“Woman in Action takes utter umbrage at the remarks made by Mr Terry Valcin, which is an affront not only to the members of WIA, but to every woman,” she continued.

Jeffrey-Nelson’s letter follows an earlier letter to her from a WIA activist Catherine Sealys complaining of remarks reportedly made by the party’s political leader Allen Chastanet that “Catherine is one of the persons I vow to victimize if I win elections and become prime minister” or words to that effect. “I believe the political leader, Mr Allen Chastanet, to be Machiavellian in his approach and tends to have a problem with women,” Sealys said.

Jeffrey-Nelson said on Monday that WIA is the one arm of the party that has been able to bring the UWP public acclaim. 

“WIA’s success and the party’s are mutually exclusive; therefore any attempt to denigrate the women of WIA will register as a loss for the UWP. Further, these attacks on WIA in forum such as the National Council have led delegates of the UWP to treat members of WIA with scorn and deliberately boycott WIA’s functions,” she noted, calling for a public apology from Valcin for his remarks.

“WIA further calls on the leadership of this party to stand up, show slate and prove that you support women of this party and country. We expect this letter to be given the most urgent attention,” Jeffrey-Nelson concluded.

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