OBA Urge Premier To Establish Women’s Forum

September 9, 2018

Opposition Leader Jeanne Atherden has urged the Premier “to establish an apolitical Women’s Forum to discuss women’s issues and promote the development and empowerment of women here in Bermuda,” saying it would be an “appropriate response to Minister Caines’ behavior and thinking.”

Ms Atherden’s comments follow after Minister of National Security Wayne Caines was widely criticized for posting a video on his Instagram page which appeared to show himself asking female workers in a cereal store in England if they have “ti**y milk.”

Following his video, Minister Caines posted an apology on his Facebook page, and both his Facebook page and Instagram page were subsequently made inaccessible, and the Minister has declined our requests for comment.

Calling it “exceptionally poor conduct,” Premier David Burt issued a statement saying he has “spoken with Minister Caines to communicate my disappointment with the lack of respect for women and poor judgment conveyed by the actions in the recording.”

The Premier added he was “proud to lead a Party that has been led by, and continues to benefit from the contributions of exceptionally strong women at every level; and this government respects and values the role of women in this community.”

“When the Premier put out his statement which focused on Minister Caines’ conduct he missed an opportunity to express his outrage,” Ms Atherden said. ”I know that as a woman and mother of daughters I am outraged at Minister Caines’ actions.

“I wonder if, before making his statement, he asked any women how they felt not just about Minister Caines’ inappropriate and sexist statement, but also the fact that Minister Caines – not Mr. Caines – thought that it was either OK or funny enough to put out on Instagram?

“From his comments it does not look as if the Premier did canvass the opinion of women because how can you say that you represent all of Bermuda without reflecting the outrage that women feel not just about the Minister’s conduct but the thinking behind the conduct?

“Did the Premier ask the women in the PLP for their thoughts? I would call on them to say something publicly about this issue, to condemn it and insist that there is no repeat. Their silence so far sends out a message that either they actually think this behaviour is OK or that they are too afraid to speak out publicly.

“My statement today reflects my feelings and comments from women in this community.

“I have heard men say that women need to speak up but we also need to hear the voices of the men in this community.  Men need to speak up not just as it relates to how they want their daughters to be viewed and treated, but also how they want their sons to think and behave. So where do the men of the PLP stand on this? They are silent.

“When I took on the challenge and position of Opposition Leader I said that I would work to promote diversity within the OBA.  I said that I would get more women involved in the politics of the country. Change is not easy but it only requires one critical step at a time and this is why I am speaking out today.

“Premier, our women are the glue that holds this country together.  They labour in our businesses and then they come home and are the primary care givers in families.  We need to be doing things to promote them, not demean them.

“What we say about women reflects how we think about and value them, where we see their place in the community,” Ms Atherden continued.

“We may not still be at the point of being seen as ‘barefoot and pregnant’ in the kitchen but we are definitely not yet at the point where we hold women in the highest regard, where we support and encourage them, where we mentor and empower, where we see them not as objects, but as worthy individuals deserving of equal treatment.

“Minister Caines’ statement has been given some prominence internationally and we need to correct this perception of Bermuda.  We need to let everyone and most importantly our community – our men, women and children – know that this is not who we are or where we want to be regarding women.

“Premier, we have an opportunity to make a difference.  We have an opportunity to seriously  look at where we are in relation to women in this community and what we can do to move our community forward.  A first step would be for Minister Caines to do the right thing and resign and consign himself to the backbenches where he can reflect on the error of his ways.

“Premier, I urge you to take a second giant and meaningful step and join with me to establish an apolitical Women’s Forum to discuss women’s issues and promote the development and empowerment of women here in Bermuda.  That Premier would be a meaningful and appropriate response to Minister Caines’ behavior and thinking.”

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Comments (28)

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  1. What?? says:

    A sensible response, finally! Tar and feathering Caine for his sexist and stupid behaviour will simply lead to a political battle. Ms. Atherden’s suggestion for an apolitical women’s forum might actually be a step towards changing the attitude that led to his sexist and stupid comment.

    • redrose says:


      • hmmm says:

        Sleepy Jean the leader of the 11 seat party answer this!!

        Why is it that when a certain ethnic group commits a bad act we want to lock them up and cast them out, but when another ethnic group commits the same crime they get a nice country club jail?

    • Portia says:

      Jeanne needs to drop it, seriously. This issue has been played enough. She does NOT speak for all women in Bermuda. To insist that anyone else in the PLP needs to speak up is ridiculous; their boss has already dealt with the matter. And we do not need a “women’s forum” either, in Bermuda, women are already far ahead of the curve than men in terms of obtaining university degrees and landing well-paying positions. In many cases, women are out-earning men by going into IB or executive jobs where men often stay with labour jobs. We are not victims, Jeanne needs to stop portraying us that way.

      • Toodle-oo says:

        *Jeanne needs to drop it, seriously. This issue has been played enough. *

        Did you and everyone else saying the same thing now get tired of ad nauseum ramblings of jetgate and peppergate ?

        • Ringmaster says:

          The PLP are masters at “corralling the wagons”. Dr Brown termed the phrase “it too will pass”. The modern PLP will never criticize one of their own, because within a week something else will happen and the one before is forgotten. Just like a ponzi scheme, it is a never ending saga of mistakes, blunders, unethical, unprincipled, rinse and repeat ignorant and childish public embarrassments. Bermuda is the loser, but do the PLP care as long as their voter base stays intact?

          • Toodle-oo says:

            Too true.
            The stinking pile of unresolved serious issues and questions that they absolutely refused to answer , that were just fine by their support base , is a pile under the rug higher than Gibb’s Hill .
            But that’s just OK . All water under the bridge . It all ‘passed’ as promised .

        • Hurricane says:

          Jetgate……….you can’t be serious Toodle-oo.

          • Toodle-oo says:

            If people around here can believe that this incident is a storm in a cereal bowl then others are more than entitled to believe that jetgate was nothing more than a case of poor judgement that cost the island nothing . Other than a lot of wasted political hot air.
            And you are aware that between 1998 and 2012 there was a certain premiere who demanded that he get free rides on a number of local private jets ?

  2. Enough says:

    Oh be quiet Jeanne! He made a mistske and apologized for it! Move on to much more pressing issues! Have you ever made a judgement error and were you not forgiven?

    You need Jesus!

    • redrose says:

      Caines has Jesus – look what it did for him! I agree there are more pressing issues … jobs, buses, education vacancies, the debt … none of which the PLP is addressing

    • Hair says:

      Jesus needs Caines!!!!!! Lord help him….

    • Question says:

      A judgement error is when you wear mismatching socks.

      This was sexual harrassment.

  3. Enough says:

    September 8, 2018
    He apologized now get off of your soap box and give the forgiveness you are denying. This is not a career ending situation. The OBA jumping on the bandwagon crucifying him for a moment of poor judgement. Have not all of us exercised poor judgment at some point? Have we not all spoken words we regret? Were we not worthy of forgiveness? Have politicians in your party not spoken an evil statement against women, blacks or gays?

    Satan works in mysterious ways and all of you haters prove that everytime you try to destroy another persons career and contribution.

    I wish Minister Caines every success in his work to advance Bermuda’s interests overseas and forgive him for this situation so he can double his efforts to earn our trust back. Give him a chance to repent and move us forward!

    Be a good Christian / person and put Satan behind you!

    • redrose says:

      yeah – a national day of prayer for Caines perhaps?

    • Question says:

      He did not apologise to the women he harrassed.

      Didn’t even attempt to do that.

  4. Imjustsaying says:

    Really. It’s that bad. SMH!

  5. Cow polly says:

    Well said Mrs Atherden, men cannot speak for women in matters of mysogonist beaviour. At the very least Mr Caines should attend therapy to undo the perceptions of women because only then can he begin to understand that belittling women is not a laughing matter

  6. St. George says:

    I hate when politicians use sensitive matters to gain political points. This was clearly a mistake and pretty sure it will not happen again.

  7. cedar stump says:

    Minister of national security drives down the road with a motor cyclist hanging onto his car window having a chat. Minister of national security reported to allegedly be in near punch up at Cupmatch.
    Minister of national security in self recorded and posted “Titty Milk” broadcast while on government business overseas. That is 3 strikes Mr Canes……..you are out !

    • wahoo says:

      Those are just some of things that we know about…problem is who would replace him if he did resign?

  8. drunken ursula says:

    all you purity people …..he sad sorry accept and get over it ! my dear friend please just retire !

  9. PANGAEA says:

    The very worst policy that can happen in any society is to devide it !

  10. Stand for Truth says:

    Where was this moral outrage regarding the census report. These same “outraged” individuals did not say a mumbling word. But then again it is a certain group of people who are experiencing economic terrorism hence these same group of people could care less.

    Anytime you are a melanated men who stands for the betterment of your people, there will be some who will use anything to take you down.

    There is one group of people who speak as one voice and they stay on code. There is another group of people whose tongues continue to rise against each other.

  11. watching says:

    Ok OBA this is a dead issue now. Leave it alone and let’s move on to the really important issues, or do you not have any stances on them?

  12. Pondering says:

    So, some apologies seem to be accepted immediately. Others not so much. Interesting.

  13. Enough says:

    Well said!