Gender rights advocate Felicia Browne, who has been very outspoken about a number of issues affecting citizens, particularly women and children, has written an open letter to Prime Minister Allen Chastanet.
Browne highlighted the issue relating to the recent homicide and rape of a 76-year-old woman in Marisule, which rocked the nation on Sunday, when news of her death was announced.
She also spoke about the constant lip service that is given to these issues, but nothing concrete is ever done to address them. She also stressed that gender-based violence affects everyone in society.
More importantly, she also stated that there is a “subtle feeling of fear,” among citizens that one of them, a friend, or a family member could become the next victim.
Browne is calling on Chastanet to look more deeply into the matter, and work with his cabinet colleagues to implement policies that will help to to address these and other issues affecting women.
Below is the full letter:
Mr. Prime Minister,
Good morning. A fellow St. Lucian, Ms. Rosa Rosemond died yesterday after being raped, robbed and murdered in her home. I did not know her personally but read very pleasant thoughts about her. At the age of 76 years, I would believe that she contributed in her life to our country and its people.
Sir, perhaps I may take a personal approach to this incident because as a woman it affects me deeply to know that we are no longer safe in our homes, that we are no longer safe in our communities, in our towns, villages and to a further extent our country.
Gender based violence affects every member of our society but sadly it affects us women more deeply, more physically, more psychologically and spiritually – it rips our core and seeks to destroy our very existence. You and I know that every time such incidents happen, we are deeply saddened and outraged yet we are slow to act.
We are slow to act within our laws, within our judicial systems, within our schools, our homes, our social services, our churches and our communities. But our women and girls are dying – they are dying tragically because someone believed (or is thinking) that their gender makes them easy targets for violent acts like rape and murder.
Sir , I would urge you to look into this matter, which today has disposed many women to be fearful and anxious. Some are angry, disgusted and outraged but in everyone of us there is a subtle feeling of fear, fear that at any time it could be one of us or our children or family members. My condolences to the family and loved ones of our beloved sister, mother, friend, grandmother, neighbor, a citizen of our country. Let us not forget her name.