When Thea Garcia Ramirez resigned from the PUP’s Northern Caucus last month, her letter to the Party Leader spoke of issues affecting women in politics. She wrote quote, “The experience of having been one of but a few women sitting here reminds me that we are still a very long way from our constitutionally mandated 30% which was a bar in my opinion set too low. “ End of quote. She says that if the PUP is willing to walk the walk then the target should always be 50%. Leader John Briceno spoke on the matter yesterday.
John Briceno, Opposition Leader: “As to the issue of women participation an the 30% I know it’s a tough one. I am the one that proposed amending the constitution to say that we need to have at least 30% of women participation at all levels of the party and we are doing our very best to try for that to happen Ms.Garcia had an opportunity but as you pointed out the people of Corozal Bay felt that they wanted one of the other contestants and not her. We are doing everything possible to encourage more women and to help them in any which way possible. But at the end of the day it is the people of that division that will need to make that decision as to who they want to represent them.”
Agreeing with Garcia Ramirez, was Dolores Balderamos Garcia.
Dolores Balderamos Garcia, Standard Bearer, PUP: “As to the 30% we are falling very short and I’m very saddened about it. Let me give you a little analogy of what I was reading the other day because those of us interested in women in politics would know that these are some of the issues that we have to look at- we’ve heard about the glass ceiling that is hard for women to break the glass ceiling and get up there into the top echelons of leadership. The way I read it the other day there ought to be a concrete floor. In other words there should not be less than a certain amount of women. I believe that amount should be the 30% now clearly if you want to go full half half you have your fifty percent but the minimum of thirty should be the commitment and that would be the concrete floor that you don’t go below. Again it’s to be desired. You must have a personal commitment from the persons in power and the leadership. I think that is still to be desired as Thea Garcia Ramirez pointed out but we have to keep fighting. The other example I’d like to use is that the PNP in Jamaica the People’s National Party in Jamaica were looking for candidates to fill ten seats and they were able to find seven but that comes from a personal commitment from the leadership. It is yet to happen but we will continue in the struggle.”
Later on, in the news, you will hear why Balderamos Garcia decided to re-enter politics.