Women of the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) have been charged with the responsibility of giving birth to the good governance process of their political party.
The women who are grouped under the Women’s Arm of the NDC gathered at the Youth Centre last Sunday for a one-day retreat that was used to examine their role within the 25-year old Political Party.
Motivational Speaker, Edward Frederick who led the charge to fire-up the women indicated that since they found “their voice” earlier this year, they have established themselves as a force to be reckoned with in Congress.
Frederick, as the Feature Speaker at the retreat, is confident that the action of the Women’s Arm of NDC under the leadership of its President, Jennifer Simon-Rapier would break the cycle of dependency towards decadence, selfishness, greed and corrupt leadership.
He admonished the women to stop playing small and claim their place.
“As women you had many obstacles flung in your way… but you moved on,” he told the gathering.
Frederick suggested that the NDC women should celebrate their “deliciousness” after taking the bold move to regroup.
However, he said that in as much as the NDC Women’s Arm needs its members, it can do without a bunch of women whom it has to carry on its back.
The feature speaker urged them to be fired-up and do what needs to be done and to make the difference as women in the good governance agenda.
“I invite you to become courageous, to stand for what you believe in, stand on your purpose as committed women in the struggle to sanitise and fumigate your organisation,” he said.
Frederick alerted the NDC women of the need to be willing to stand alone as the journey becomes lonely, especially when they believe in things that they passionately care about.
He also admonished the women to refrain from being tardy in their dealings since they now have to assume the leadership positions in almost all spheres of life in the country.
He said that with men having failed the nation, the women have become powerful enough to determine the atmosphere in the homes or anywhere else since each woman has the potential to be a leader.
Frederick believes that had it not been for the efforts of the women, the children would be more desperate than how they are today because of the failure of the men to stand up.
He said the women are needed in the Churches, schools, as well as at work and at play, and there is no question in his mind that the country needs them now more than ever in leadership roles.
“You are needed by us men for your powerful intuition,” he interjected.
The session was also addressed by President of the NDC Women’s Arm, Jennifer Simon-Rapier who commissioned her troops to stand in solidarity with the leadership of the party.
Simon-Rapier made a clarion call for the members to stand firm behind the NDC and the government.
“As women you had many obstacles flung in your way… but you moved on,” she said.
She warned that there are those who wish to see the strides of the NDC derailed and its efforts turned back.
This is an obvious reference to a group of dissident Members of Parliament who have been making a string of public statements critical of Prime Minister Tillman Thomas, Finance Minister Nazim Burke, and the fiscal and economic policies being pursued by the administration.
The group, which includes ex-ministers, Peter David and Joseph Gilbert, are at odds with the government on issues such as ALBA funds from Venezuela and the establishment of a casino for gambling on the St. George’s cruise ship port.
Simon-Rapier condemned what she said was the latest attempt calculated to make the working people of the nation lose confidence in the government.
She also addressed the critical issue of an imbalance between both sexes and made specific reference to the use of words such as Chairman and Foreman which is a clear indication of the exclusion of the woman in society.
Simon-Rapier said even in today’s society, some men regard women as being inferior.
“The very language we speak on a day-to-day basis reflects the unequal status of the woman,” she remarked.
Simon- Rapier also felt that housewives are degraded even when these women are supposed to be an important person in the society and stressed the need to educate society about the values of women.
The NDC Women’s President announced that the organization is looking at adult education classes for women so as to enable them to live brand new lives.
She pointed out that education must be the key to confront the problems that are now faced by the nation.
Community development is another area to be pursued by the Women’s Arm.
Simon-Rapier said with the four-year old Government of Prime Minister Tillman Thomas having inherited a situation of bankruptcy when it took office in July 2008, coupled with the financial meltdown in the world, a new attitude has to be developed by everyone to conduct community work in their area.
“The answer is not to call on the government, but to recognise the people in our area to see what skills, what material can be provided,” she added.
Former Vice-President of the Women’s Arm, Maude Brizan-Hutchinson was recognized as the featured NDC Woman at the retreat as a result of her unwavering faith in God, her commitment to the NDC, and her love for Grenada.
She was also commended for being a true Grenadian patriot who continuously promoted democratic governance.
The retreat, which attracted a gathering of some 450 to 500 persons, was held under the theme, “Women With A Good Governance Agenda.”