A recent social media comment made by Prime Minister Gaston has left a bad taste in the mouths of some residents, including members of the opposition United Progressive Party (UPP).
Yesterday, the Women’s Forum of the United Progressive Party (UPP-WF) issued an official press release, stating that it “strongly condemns the Facebook remarks made by Prime Minister Gaston Browne regarding the women of St Vincent & The Grenadines”.
They are referring to remarks made on Facebook where the PM stated that he has requested that specific females be sent to take refuge on the twin island.
The offended UPP Women’s Forum said it consider the statements to be “vulgar, demeaning, sexist, and inappropriate”.
But more importantly, “at a time like this, when the people of that nation are vulnerable, anxious, in peril, and are likely to be displaced, the Prime Minister’s comments are inexcusable”.
“Mr. Browne’s words were neither funny nor light-hearted, and we are disgusted that the head of government would behave in this manner,” the release said.
“The Women’s Forum views his statements as predatory and an encouragement of the men of our Nation to see women as ‘prey’ and as sex objects.
“Were the situation reversed, with Antiguans and Barbudans invited to accept refuge elsewhere, would we not want to be assured of a haven that is safe and honourably intended?” it queried.
The UPP-WF therefore urged residents, including religious and civil society leaders “to condemn the Prime Minister’s remarks and actions that might result from them, since they set an un-Christian and dangerous example”.
But when Observer media contacted Browne, he response indicated that he was merely being facetious.
“As usual, the UPP opportunists and propagandists who are seeking relevance clearly are accentuating an exchange of levity on social media; something that is of absolutely no consequence. At the end of the day, we’ll be accommodating hundreds of Vincentians, young, old male, female, but these UPP people are uncontrollably embittered, and they evidently need to get a life,” Browne said.