The UNC Women’s Arm, a consistent advocate for gender equality and women’s empowerment, staunchly denounces the recent abhorrent remarks made by Government Senator Renuka Sagramsingh-Sooklal during the Senate proceedings on Tuesday 31 May 2023. This deplorable incident not only flagrantly undermines the principles of respect and dignity but also serves as a stark reminder of the pressing need for unwavering support and recognition for young women in politics.
During the spirited debate on The Municipal Corporation (Extension of Terms of Office and Validation) Bill, 2023, Senator Jayanti Lutchmedial, alongside her esteemed senatorial colleagues, eloquently presented commendable contributions in defense of Trinidad and Tobago. Senator Lutchmedial diminished the previous government speakers with her in depth knowledge of the law, particularly the recent Privy Council victory which she participated in.
However, instead of engaging in constructive discourse, Senator Sagramsingh-Sooklal resorted to despicable personal attacks, shamelessly stooping to the lowest depths imaginable for a woman in politics.
The UNC Women’s Arm firmly upholds that the vital role of women in politics should be exalted and vigorously championed. It is both disheartening and infuriating to witness a young woman in a position of power exploit her platform to propagate hate and bitterness, while callously disrespecting the rich history and cultural heritage of an ethnic group within Trinidad and Tobago. Such reprehensible behaviour not only undermines the cherished values of inclusivity and diversity but also tarnishes the very fabric of unity that ought to be fostered within our society.
We emphatically remind Senator Sagramsingh-Sooklal that her Indian ancestors, much like numerous others — including Senator Lutchmedial’s — endured immense hardships and made profound sacrifices to embark on the arduous journey to Trinidad and Tobago in pursuit of a better life. The “paal” or pieces of the sail that provided shelter and place to sleep during their voyage, stands as a testament to the indomitable resilience and unwavering determination of those who paved the way for future generations. To blatantly disrespect and disregard one’s ancestral legacy, particularly during the solemn commemoration of Indian Arrival Day, is not only deeply disconcerting but also indicative of a complete lack of empathy and historical understanding. It appears Senator Sagramsingh-Sooklal is prepared to denigrate her own heritage to ingratiate herself to the PNM.
In this day and age, it is imperative that young women in politics receive the unyielding respect they rightfully deserve. Senator Jayanti Lutchmedial, a true recipient of a national scholarship, has distinguished herself through her exemplary career in law, tirelessly earning recognition in numerous legal matters before the court. Her accomplishments are a testament to her unwavering commitment and her unyielding dedication to her profession. Unlike Senator Sagramsingh-Sooklal, who possesses neither substance nor integrity, Senator Lutchmedial has not compromised her principles or sought personal gain through political prostitution like Sagramsingh-Sooklal.
The UNC Women’s Arm acknowledges Senator John’s apology on behalf of the parliament, signalling a glimmer of hope and encouragement, despite the biased and one sided intervention of the Senate Vice President who sought to protect Sagramsingh-Sooklal from the ire of the UNC, but not protect Senator Lutchmedial from her unprovoked attack.
Under the astute leadership of Kamla Persad-Bissessar, the UNC has fostered a nurturing environment where women can hold their heads high and actively contribute to national discussions. We extend our heartfelt gratitude to the political leader for creating such an environment and commend Senator John for her dignified response to the disgraceful tactics employed by Sagramsingh-Sooklal.
It is the collective responsibility of society to cultivate an inclusive and empowering political landscape where women from all walks of life can thrive and affect meaningful change. The UNC Women’s Arm remains resolute in its commitment to advocating for gender equality, empowering women, and forging a brighter, more inclusive future for all!