Listening to the speeches at the just concluded Labour Party rally on Monday and comments of others, I am now convinced that I must express myself too. I am a mother of a little girl – many times she tells me of boys in her class who are calling "Black Dog!" Mind you! These are boys who are not doing well in class. I have to motivate and instill in my daughter "What a black beauty she is!"

The leaders of our country seem to be very comfortable to be in a public forum and belittle women who are brave and bold enough to say " I am capable of running this country too" . They attacked their education, the person, their private/family lives and anything else that comes to mind etc. And while these men are degrading these brave and bold ladies, other women are cheering them on and clapping – and think it is so funny.

Dominica has made great strides in the development of women liberation and education, we can boast of having one of the world's greatest woman Prime Minister Dame Eugenia Charles. She has set the standard for us to follow, when Dame Eugenia spoke the then President of the USA listened. She was abused by her male colleagues - often attacked about her unmarried and childless status (personal issues) and rarely on her ability and capability.

Dame Eugenia Charles and Niva Edwards (former Speaker of the House of Assembly) has set the standard for us (women) to follow – great women like Loreen Bannis, Gloria Shillingford, Carissa Etienne, Jacinta Bannis, Justina Charles and many, many others, who are holding leadership positions in every arm of government or institutions (privately and/or publicly). These women are daughters, mothers, wives, sisters, aunties, friends, confidantes etc, yet are ready , able and willing to sacrifice a bit more of ourselves for community/country development.

We are seeing the same trend today – where men stand in public and continue to debase women, while other women cheer them on.

I ask myself – where are the "women organizations" and groups whose mission here is to safe guard against the abuse, debasing, belittle of women and girls from anyone and in any form in this country, and to ensure our rights are not trampled on. No matter what political affiliation one has – the rights of women should and must always be safe guarded against- always! Why has the Dominica women organization and groups not taken a public stance against such public abuse by politicians against women? Why have women (who are in these leadership positions) not spoken against this form of abuse?

Our leaders on both sides of the party line has to respect women publicly and privately, they must set the example for all of us to follow. I would like to urge all Politicians to stay on the issues that are relevant to the country's development. Present your report card, your plans, and dreams, your manifesto. Trust us - We are smart enough! We will come to the conclusion! Truth is addicted to light – it must come forth! Stay on the path of excellence! Be great States Men and Women! We have had enough of "Mal-Parle-ing". To lend a line from one of Dominica's National Songs " Arise! Arise! Dominicans arise and strive to make an earthly paradise!

Marian Jno-Finn