The women of the People’s United Party have condemned the Guardian’s publication of a demeaning photograph of the President of the Cayo Women's Group of the PUP. Yesterday led by Deputy Chair of the party Carolyn Trench Sandiford the women condemned what they call quote: the vile usage of an image that not only invaded the privacy of the Belizean woman and degraded her dignity, but recognized it for what it is, a distasteful act that can only be attributed to raw political malice and venom, end of quote. The PUP women also expressed disappointment that the National Women’s Commission as the lead agency in Belize actively promoting women’s inclusion in political life, has been silent on the photograph’s publication. Today Love News spoke with Executive Director of the National Women’s Commission Ann Marie Williams who said the Commission met earlier this week and will issue an official statement. However Williams said while publishing the photograph is to be condemned, as individuals we also need to make sound decisions.

Ann Marie Williams – Executive Director, National Women’s Commission

“Well these things happen every day but I think an important thing for women and for mothers and even young boys to think about; when you are growing up it is easy to take comprising pictures of yourself and have them either what you feel is a private space and a lot of time private space moves into public space. Young women who are dating, they allow themselves to be photographed in all sorts of compromising positions and I feel it is very important for them to know that listen, it doesn’t matter it could be your boyfriend, your husband; people break up and when they breakup a lot of people do it maliciously. A lot of times men do these things, sometimes it is women who do it to other women but to avoid it you need to be circumspect, you must try to lead by example and don’t take photos that you will one day you would be sorry for. Where the photo is concerned it is despicable, it is distasteful and it doesn’t matter if it is PUP woman or a UDP woman, it doesn’t matter who it was in terms of a woman, it should never have been there. Personally I cannot let him apologize but I know it should never have been done. It seems like he still feels that it is okay, from where I sit it is not okay.”

The Women issues Network issued a release today. Executive Director Carolyn Reynolds told us the organization is boycotting the newspaper.

Carolyn Reynolds – Executive Director, WIN-Belize

“And to have a picture like that during women’s month especially is very degrading and discriminatory to women and so we are looking at this as a position of a woman’s issue and not a political issue.

Maria Novelo - Reporter How do you move forward, what do you guys want to be done?

Carolyn Reynolds – Executive Director, WIN-Belize

"Well we would want an apology from the editor of the newspaper and right now we are not going to buy the newspaper and we have asked our members to also do that in solidarity for this that has happened."

Maria Novelo – Reporter

In summation you guys are boycotting the newspaper?

Carolyn Reynolds - Executive Director, WIN-Belize

"Yes we are boycotting the newspaper until there is an apology. That is really poor journalism. If she has that on her Facebook that is her personal space, she shares it with her friends. That is uncalled for, to really publish that in a newspaper."

Maria Novelo - Reporter So until you get an apology you will not be purchasing their newspaper anymore?

Carolyn Reynolds - Executive Director, WIN-Belize

"That’s right that is what we are doing; as is the 14 member organization of WIN-Belize we are boycotting the purchase of that newspaper. I would like all women to get up and stand up against this because it is always how they promote women in the media. That has happened so many times, we have to stop, we have to put a stop to that. Like we said in the release, the Government supporting the women in politics project, that is something good and we really would want more women to step forward but seeing something like this in the newspaper, what are we doing? We are not respecting women, that is how we see it.”