We would like to thank the former Port of Spain Mayor and Alderman Raymond Tim Kee for honouring his promise to resign from these positions, following statements to the effect that women are responsible for avoiding attacks on their person by way of regulating behaviour and dress at Carnival time.
While we acknowledge that Tim Kee's resignation is a victory that should be celebrated, we are under no illusions around the problematic nature of his resignation, including:
- His initial failed 'apology' which suggested that his statements were taken out of context
- A subsequent apology that was disseminated via his wife's Facebook profile that highlighted his own victimization
- Not calling the emergency council meeting on Monday as officially communicated to tender his resignation
- Failing to communicate his plans to resign with his Councillors
- Statements made following his resignation including
being 'careful about the values that we adopt' in response to whether he needs gender sensitivity training, after having indicated an understanding of its necessity for those in pubic office.
As seen via Tim Kee's supporters such as Point Fortin Mayor Clyde Paul, it remains clear that there will be continued resistance to the kind of interventions needed to ensure that arms of the State at all levels (police force, politicians, government officials/workers) receive the kind of information and training that can truly transform the ways in which we approach and ultimately dismantle the structural inequalities that engender the victimization of women, victim blaming/shaming, gender based violence and rape culture.
It is our sincerest hope that the incoming Mayor wishes to meet with us to have an ongoing conversation around the proposed gender sensitivity tool kit, which can be used by a number of individuals and organizations that wish to uphold the principles of gender equality, ethical best practice and justice.
We would also like to acknowledge the statements of support for the call for Tim Kee's resignation by our Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley and PNM Chairman Franklin Khan. Chairman Khan has also indicated that a Gender Policy will be approved by Cabinet by year-end and that 21st century approaches must be applied to a range of matters, including abortion, gay rights, gender bias and child (sexual) abuse.
We also call on Minister Ayanna Webster Roy in the OPM, responsible for the Gender and Child Development Unit to reach out to us to develop strategies moving forward, which can accommodate these shifting priorities as expressed by the PNM leadership.
And finally, give thanks to ALL OF YOU for answering our call for justice for Asami and all women who have been blamed for their own victimization and indeed death. We could not have achieved this outcome without the overwhelming support of the people of Trinidad and Tobago.
If folks are interested in participating in the follow up conversations and actions post - Tim Kee resignation, send a request to the group "Say Something" on Facebook.
A luta continua!