This missive is directed to Members of the Women’s and Gender Equality Commission (WGEC) as well as to those who have criticised and/or sought clarification on my remarks at a public meeting held at Little Diamond, EBD.
In a letter sent to both Stabroek News and Kaieteur News on 27 January 2020
I offered my regrets and emphasised that no disrespect was intended implicitly or otherwise to women who felt hurt and offended by my remarks.
Stabroek News published my letter in their edition of January 28, 2020. Kaieteur News never did.
In the spirit of self-criticism, I take the opportunity to further elaborate. I wish to make it pellucidly clear that my remarks at that meeting, in no way whatsoever, reflect the position of the PPP/C in respect to women and gender equality. The PPP, as a matter of policy, has an unblemished record in this respect.
I take full personal responsibility for what I said at that public meeting.
Throughout my entire political life, I am known to be a defender of women’s rights and gender equality. There are no recorded instances public or otherwise where I expounded views to the contrary.
At elections campaign public meetings, it is not unusual for some speakers to resort to political satire and/or puns in song, poetry or speeches to denigrate their political opponents.
However, there are times when this form of comedic political commentary can be insulting to a wide audience.
I have to concede that, regrettably, this is precisely what occurred while addressing the audience at the said public meeting.
Further, it is to be regretted that the satirical commentary came across as offensive to women (and probably men).
I wish to again emphasise that no disrespect was meant intentionally or otherwise to women in general.
My sincerest apologies to all.
Clement J Rohee