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Mar 23, 2011

Women protest political tabloid’s publication of private photo

The Women in Politics Project by the National Women’s Commission has attracted women from all walks of life, encouraging them to join the political process. It’s a new project but many agree that it has had some degree of success. But when women went knocking at the doors of the Commission today, they were not exactly given a warm welcome. The women had gone to protest the publication of a photograph in the government’s party organ of a ranking female in the opposition party. Coming as it is in the month celebrating women, the publication stirred emotions, with many questioning if the Guardian had crossed the gray line. News Five’s Delahnie Bain has this story.

Delahnie Bain, Reporting

There’s a sign on the office door of the National Women’s Commission that says “OPEN”, but today that door was closed to the media and a group of women, delivering a letter to the Commission’s Executive Director, Ann-Marie Williams.  Only two women were allowed inside and Carolyn Trench Sandiford briefed the group on the message she conveyed on their behalf.

Carolyn Trench Sandiford

“I have informed Miss Rachel, who is Ann-Marie’s Assistant, how disappointed we are that Ann-Marie as Executive Director of the National Women’s Commission chose not to be here today even though they were called and told that we would be coming.”

The women of the People’s United Party are outraged over a scandalous photograph that was published in the UDP newspaper. But their frustrations compounded by commission’s silence on the issue.

Carolyn Trench-Sandiford, Deputy Leader, People’s United Party

“Today we felt that it was important that we come to the National Women’s Commission to personally deliver a letter, requesting that they add their voice to our concern regarding the publication of that image. We felt that as the lead agency in this country that advocates on behalf of women and actively encourages women to participate in political life and political leadership, they should have been at the forefront in terms of condemning such an image.”

Lisa Shoman

Lisa Shoman, P.U.P. Senator

“That photograph was calculated to attempt to humiliate and degrade the president of the United Woman’s Group. It had a nasty article appended on to it and so therefore it’s not a matter of fair game or not fair game. No woman should ever be put in a position because of her political beliefs that she is victimized or exploited in this manner just to make a buck to sell a newspaper.”

And while it’s a matter of P.U.P. women condemning a U.D.P. newspaper, Trench-Sandiford and Lisa Shoman, who were at the forefront of the group, say it’s not all politics.

Carolyn Trench-Sandiford

Carolyn Trench-Sandiford

“Let us look at this as a disrespect and an insult to all Belizean women. That particular individual yes, is a woman and she is the president of the United Women’s Group of the People’s United Party, but she is a woman. Belizean women are moms, they are aunts, they are nieces, they are daughters and this could happen to anyone.”

Lisa Shoman

“As women of the P.U.P., we stand up for our own. Let it be known, let it go forth, that we will stand up if the same thing occurs to a U.D.P. woman. We will not tolerate it—or a V.I.P. woman or any woman at all. The day has come when we have to stand in solidarity with our sisters and we will not back down.”

The women also responded to the newspaper editor who published the image and later justified it on the airwaves, saying that image was on posted Facebook.

Lisa Shoman

“Look a Facebook profile is for one’s friends and it is one’s private activity. That was not a Facebook profile of the president of the United Woman’s Group. That was a private individual’s space. The fact of whether she chose to post it so that people could see it or not see it is not the point, the fact of the matter is how the photograph was exploited and used along with the accompanying caption and story.”

Carolyn Trench-Sandiford

“You ought not to take a picture which is within a person’s private and personal space and to take it to exploit them, to humiliate them, simply for the purpose of political malice and venom. It is uncalled for and we are saying that it must stop.”

And while they did not get an opportunity to speak with Williams today, the women say their fight is not over just yet.

Lisa Shoman

“Twenty-five, thirty years ago this was done to a P.U.P. woman’s candidate, a photograph of her was circulated and it was a private photograph. Twenty-five, thirty years ago very few people stood up for this woman. We want Belizeans to know we are not going to tolerate the exploitation of Belizean women.”

Carolyn Trench-Sandiford

“We’re hopeful that the National Women’s Commission after having our letter will join our voice in condemning the issue that was published in the Guardian Newspaper.”

Shoman also noted that it is incidents such as this that make women think twice about entering the political arena. Delahnie Bain for News Five.

The women also say they have bragging rights over women participation in politics and point out that many women had served in government under the PUP; notably, the first female speaker of the house and the first woman to be made Minister of Defence.

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Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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37 Responses for “Women protest political tabloid’s publication of private photo”

  1. Say What says:

    I saw the picture. Correct me if I am wrong but is it the picture in which the lady has a bottle of liqour between her legs with her head down in a drunken daze? The picture was not revealing right. If we are both referring to the same pic then I think the lady should be glad that the pictures were not so compromising given that she seemed to be in a drunken daze. Who knows what else or how the photographer could have taken advantage of her.

  2. Belizean Born says:

    what? all of this for gina?

    how about our intelligent belizean women pick their battles with more discretion? this is almost as silly as evan x defending gaddafi in his last op-ed.

  3. Disgusted! says:

    This is an outrage and a MOTHERF%$#@ING SHAME. The game of politics is dirty and corrupted but this is taking it too far. ALFONSO NOBLE is a #!#(# and someone should do him the honor of ……….. He should be the least to talk about integrity because he has enough bones in his closet, and I hope he can deal with the repercussions of the hornet’s nest that he bisturbed. I will go so far as to state that he is probably jealous of Gina Tillett’s femininity because he is …….!!!! This will come back to haunt his $i$$y @$$ so I hope he is prepared for the Tsunami that’s about to hit him and Juliet Thimbriel. If you live in glass houses, don’t throw stones.

  4. BZNinCALI says:

    Ladies, I assume you are wearing panties, let’s not get them in a bunch. I am proud of my body, love the naked woman I see in the mirror but let’s get real, you press the SHARE button on Facebook or SEND on your email & it is no longer private.

    Does anyone remember when one of our newspapers printed a picture of a prominent Belizean, phallus in hand, pissing?. Politics is dirty & because we live in a society where women are often judged by different standards, it is up to us to live by the same rules we expect our children to live by & do what we need to do to get our foot in the door so that we can take over the house. IF IT IS NOT AN IMAGE YOU WANT YOUR PARENTS OR FUTURE CHILDREN TO SEE, IT DOES NOT BELONG ON THE INTERNET. Btw, those pictures your friends took, they are not private, these little rascals are vicious.

  5. Disgusted! says:

    The incompetent !#@(# Ann Marie Williams deliberately chose to be conveniently absent at the opportune time in defense of her political aspirations but she is in for a big surprise because the moment she decides to run I personally will expose the stories of the times when I had to stop her from physically abusing her, then young, son many a nights when she was living on New Road in Belize City. Remember me Ann marie???????? I was your neighbor!!!!!!! You get out there and act all prim and proper but your day is near and I am lurking in the shadows #$#(#!!!!!!!

  6. ricenbeans says:

    Guys,
    Keep strong in the fight ladies.
    Don’t be ridiculous guys, this is not a matter of what the image was or who it was of. It’s about the principle of the matter.

    First of all if you saw the photograph you notice that the person’s face is almost half concealed by her cap. There was no way for sure to tell if that was her or not unless you were the person that took the photo.

    I commend Gina for accepting that it was her as she could have denied it flat out. Bare in mind that she also stated that it was done in the name of fun. Who will you believe? A propaganda, one sided media house that has no professionalism and was not even there when the person took the photo or the actual person?

    Now, the only reason this was done in my opinion is that they cannot publish any real headlines as all the headlines are of the UDP mess ups and we can’t have any of that can we?

    Please, we need to stop playing these childish games and start bringing our country back to where it needs to be. Stop digging into peoples private lives and start facing the issues and dealing with them.

    Guardian, please; if you want to remain a newspaper, please do as you should and report some REAL news for one.

  7. islander says:

    Wasn’t this the same woman who left her Walther PPK .380 pistol at Mose’s house and someone stole?

    She not only makes women look bad but also makes gun owners look irresponsible. I bet with her political strings she already has a new gun license or two.

  8. roska says:

    I hope women all across Belize learn from this experience….. I would have understood this if the picture had been stolen from her computer oR home… but taken from the INTERNET?????

    Cmon, women….IF I HAVE A PICTURE I WOULD BE ASHAMED PEOPLE SEE I WILL NOT POST IT ON MY FACEBOOK……!!!!!! BOTTOM LINE….!!! ALL OF US HAVE OUR DARK SECRETS….. BUT CMON, ANY PERSON WITH SENSE WILL NOT POST IT ON FACEBOOK!!!

    probelm is, SOME Women these days have no respect for themselves… so they set themselves for others to disrespect them….

    I do consider it bad taste to have it published in a newspaper where children will have access to it….. minus one for noble!!!! but I would say minus99 for this lady….. for being silly in posting those types of pictures on her facebook,…..ESPECIALLY KNOWING SHE IS A PUBLIC FIGURE!!!!

    “a Facebook profile is for one’s friends and it is one’s private activity…” YEAH LADIES KEEP BEING NAIVE!!!!

    “this is a disrespect and an insult to all Belizean women”….. I agree…… TO ALL BELIZEAN WOMEN FOOL ENOUGH TO POST THOSE TYPES OF PICTURES ON THE NET……

  9. mylegacyb4mypeople says:

    This is nice that the women are trying to organize them self but very disappointing that they have aligned themselves with yet another corrupted political party and I see this as just a publicity stunt for the PUP party and if the description as posted by Say What says of the picture is correct then I too have seen this picture and if it was meant to be private then this woman would have set her privacy settings on face book so that only her friends could have viewed this picture and I believe that it was a profile picture that the whole world could have viewed so then why the fuss? As I said just a political ploy for publicity purposes now everyone will want to see this picture. Remember, My Legacy B 4 My People.

  10. Sugar says:

    i have several comments
    - If she is a public figure, then keep those pics out of Facebook
    - we always hear warnings to young girls not to be taking nude pics and circulating with friends, thats good in helping the young girls, but an old tired bloody woman should know betta
    - NOTHING on the internet is private…cum on stupid, wake up
    - wish the women of PUP would find something constructive to do with all that show of power
    - Ann Marie no have one coppa in this dalla
    - person to blame….the one who put up pic on FB and believe they are “private”…stupid

  11. Rds says:

    O.k, it’s good to see all the women stand up for another woman, but the whole issue of disrespecting women over the internet has been gone silent for too long, and now these so called respectable women standing up for it, i think it’s time people in Belize stand up for the real issues and stop making everything political, cause all these women doing is making it into one big political mess, and they didn’t even bother to care who’s picture is shown where, cause if they did why did they not stand up when the other women’s picture was all over the internet as well. I mean it’s not the first time a female has had her picture shown around, and did this group stand up in solidarity with them, no, so that what is their point now……

  12. BzeanQueen says:

    I am an educated Belizean women with professional career which also being a wife and mother. I also have a facebook account. In my life I have been an advocate for women in general and belive completely in women’s rights. However, I am aware that Facebook (no matter how private people claim it is) is an open and very public forum. I have seen women friends of mine post pictures and comments which should never see the light of day. We all have personal responsibility to conduct ourselves with integrity and professionalism whether or not we are in private or public. Politics in dirty business but if we as women conduct ourselves properly they will have no fuel to add to the fire. Ladies, think before you press post!

  13. Sawmill says:

    Why are we outraged? As women we should learn to carry ourselves and ensure that we are not placed in these positions. Why aren’t the women groups teaching women not to compromise themselves? Why do we wait for incidents like these to happen and then act indignant for the wrong reasons. How is it that we are claiming that the picture was private when it is plastered all over Facebook. We all know there is nothing private about Facebook. Come on Ms. Tillett has to bear the responsibility of her actions. Carolyn Sandiford should be counseling Ms. Tillett and other women on proper decorum not trying to legitimize her bad behavior.

  14. spanglish says:

    Face book is for the public, Gina should behave more decent OK she is a very proud woman that hates poor people, and as a leader of the PUP women group she should conduct herself in a more proper way.

    Thuis just shows the kind of leaders the PUP have, common Gina get OFF your high horse, we know who aree now

  15. Elgin Martinez says:

    There isn’t anything private about the internet .Hence the reason di man then seh http://www.World wide web not woman wide web.

  16. Mayhem says:

    IF YOU PUT IT UP ON FACEBOOK THEN YOU DESERVE IT!!! I PERSONALLY WOULD NEVER VOTE FOR SOMEONE LIKE THAT IN AN ELECTIONS

  17. cg says:

    my husband always said facebook will get people in trouble..i think i know what he means now

  18. ESSB says:

    Alfonso Noble and Juliet Thimbriel are @$$hole$. They are the last ones to talk…emphasize on all the mess this country is in because of the UDP and stop criticizing this lady. We all have our personal life and enjoy it…what does this have to do with aspirations we may have??
    Be carefull!! Your time is near…be prepared to taste some of your own chocolate.

  19. cayobway says:

    Since alfonzo is so interested and quick to post pictures on the lopsided newspaper about public fogures, why the !@@% does he not post pictures of his druken @$$ political bosses when they are passed out , or harassing people on the weekends.

  20. B groovy says:

    Coming soon to theater near u Gina gone wild….

  21. B groovy says:

    Coming soon to theater near u,Gina gone wild…

  22. BigBro says:

    Shame on Anne Marie Williams – in case u neva know…Anne Marie Williams is not really concerned about women.. she has a personal vendetta against men and is more concerned about her political aspirations. How can you explain her refusal to speak to these individuals on such an important issue? Her behaviour is inexcusable. I wonder if this is a spanner in the works for the recently launched ” Women Political Partication in Belize” initiative launched between the National Womens Commission and UNDP?

    Regarding Facebook, by now you should know that they have some real serious privacy issues (google it and you will see) so my recommendation is to stay away from it. Facebook claims to be private but it is not. So if u no want u business deh, then don’t put it! I agree with Sawmill that Ms. Tillet has some responsibility. Remember the saying, every action has a reaction!! Secondly I agree with Bze queen who said that we all have personal responsibility to conduct ourselves with integrity and professionalism whether or not we are in private or public (male and female).

    As for Fonso and Guardian, bway unno really step out a bounds!! Cheap shot and low blow. Shame Shame on you. Mista PM deal with him please!!

    Women, you are your greatest enemies. You need to fix that problem and stop bringing down each other!!

  23. wit out struggle there is no progress says:

    Anything on the internet is for the public. We always warned individuals to be careful of wat is posted on the net. Besides………….it is only Gina and the PUP’s who is accepting that it is indeed her. The picture has not reveal the person’s face…………….for all i know it is a fake. This can be done. We all know about Photo Shop and the like. Pictures can be forge, simple as that. She could have simply said its not me. And if it is indeed her then she should be mindful of who her friends are………………only freinds could have been in that room and only friends could have post it on the net. ……………………………………………………………All in all…………it could be a fake…………..by making noise its like saying ………..yes it is me. just leave it alone………..its on the net…………nothing is private there

  24. Earl Grey says:

    POLITICS IS A DIRTY GAME……………….
    WHAT SOME PEOPLE WILL DO IS A DAMN SHAME………………

    LET THIS BE A WARNING………….BE AWARE OF ALL PICTURES TAKEN OF YOU AND ALL POSTED…….

    Only YOU can be responsible for YOUR COMPROMISING PHOTOGRAPHS going public.

    ONCE YOU PUT IT ON THE WEB…………..IT BECOMES PUBLIC

  25. Lucas says:

    I do not remember the year but you guys who are as old or older than me may remember the incident that I will narrate to our younger generation. It was a time when Mr. Goldson was set aside and Dean Lindo was leading the oposition. It was a time when the Guatemala/Belize issue was a very and extremely hot patato and it was national election time. Election fever was so high and nearly everybody, and perhaps even Mr. Price, thought that Dean Lindo was going to win. Well, either by hook or crook, Mr. Price pulled the election. He won by such an overwhelming margin that the opposition was sooo devastated. Dean Lindo was squashed and finished. The man was sooo demoralized that he sought confort in liquor and got soooo drunk that he ended sitting on a bench at central park fast asleep with his one barrel bottle in his hand and his sipper down. And, that is how the Belizean public saw his picture in the Belize Times front page. The P.U.P. laughed and made jokes about the incident while the opposition was perhaps wishing a hurricane would carry them away. I tell this true story not as a joke but as a reminder that we are all responsible for our very own actions and if people make fun on us for our own irresponsibility, it is not their fault but, our ‘s alone.

  26. Elgin Martinez says:

    Cg:Facebook don’t get people in trouble some people put their entire business on social media and that is what get them in these type of situation.With that said even if this lady posted whatever she might have posted on her profile this man still don’t have the right to use her picture for political gain without her consent.

  27. 8of10 says:

    Nice pic if you ask me.

  28. Shame On Her says:

    In February of 2010 US Senator Chris Lee takes a shirtless pic of himself and posts it on Craigslist!!! And within a few days he resigns from Congress!!! NO one blamed Craigslist for posting it!!! The Senator knew it was in poor judgment and he resigned!!! Let’s put the blame where it is to be placed….on the person who took the pic and posted it!!!! If it was meant to be private then maybe she should have kept it on her phone, flash drive, computer or camera!! She put it on FaceBook to get a reaction and she is getting it now and is ashamed!!! Do not stand behind other ppl to fight ur battles take the blame for ur LACK OF JUDGMENT!! There is no one else to blame but herself!!!

  29. Earl Grey says:

    Warning :……………
    BE CAREFUL OF THE PHOTOS YOU POST ON FACEBOOK and ALL SOCIAL MEDIA……..
    they may come back to haunt YOU!!!!

  30. shock says:

    Folks, you all better come to understand the natural effect that negative THOUGHTS VIBRATION it doing to the society. A new round of hate has begun,as a result who believe that its ok to belittel a fellow human being for their own stupid gain, which add to already negative vibration that is eating away at the society; can’t you all see it? ONLY LOVE AND FORGIVENESS HEALS; why not give it a try and see how it will tranform individual life as well as the nation. Its the only sure and lasting antidote for a society that is in serious moral decay. No one can find God other than through love.

  31. BZNinCALI says:

    @Lucas, wasn’t there a picture of him looking up over his spectacle as someone took his picture while he was pissing on the bank in front of the old market?. A lot of garbage was done just before the election.

    Let’s not forget that rumors about a gay affair derailed one former married elected official’s ambitions. Someone commented that she had a bottle of alcohol between her legs. For my brothers & sisters who grew up in Belize City in the 60s & 70s, the one story that circulated around Belize that involved a bottle, alcohol & a woman’s ……… was extremely degrading to all women & was used to remind all of us men & women to either not drink or do not drink to excess.

  32. Shame on Her says:

    I am not friends with this woman on Facebook and I was just able to go to her profile page and look at all her pictures!! So for Shoman to claim that the woman’s pics are private and only for her friends to view is a bunch of BS!!!! As a lawyer shouldn’t she have all the facts straight!!! Everything about this screams JUDGMENT or lack of on the part of the woman who took the pics!!! I went thru her albums and see pics of her drinking with friends on a beach in her swimsuit!! I am sorry but nothing in this pics make her seem like an innocent victim at all!!!!!!!!

  33. RadicalBelizean says:

    I have seen the photo(s) and if this particular photo causes you guys so much titillation then it’s pretty sad. She was at home or at the home of someone she trusted clearly. She fell SLEEP on the floor of a living room GRANTED with a bottle of alcohol between her legs, SO WHAT? I don’t think for a minute this woman was trying to be provocative, she was among friends one would assume.

    Tell me which one of you have never been Intoxicated at family or friends to the point where you could be caught in this way? It’s HYPOCRITICAL all of you who consume alcohol, man or woman it does not matter. Irrespective of whether she is PUP or UDP, this woman wasn’t on the streets, or a public building. Her mistake was the privacy setting of her FB, anyone who published it is just nasty and malicious. But every dog has its day. I don’t think this photo should affect her career prospect in anyway, and it shows me she can enjoy a good party. Her competency at work is what is important. I would hate to think that I am being judged when I am out with friends socialising i.e.drinking. Get a bloody life the rest of you.

  34. corf says:

    @ Shame on her,,,i think its shame on you. At the end of the day we are all human beings that does things that are viewed as not right with others.I do not see anything wrong with the pics on her profile.She looks great in her swimwear and some (juliet Thimbriel) are probably jealous that they can never look the way she does. For the life of me how can someone drinking a beer on the beach not make her look innocent? All of a sudden things like that matters to politicians in Belize. When the ministers were having dual families and doing all the things they weren’t supposed to be doing, that didn’t matter to anyone.To Ms Tillett , own it girl. You are a beautiful woman and don’t let one measly picture bring you down. Please don’t make this be an issue that is not important. What the idiot Alfonso Noble did does not define who you are. All he is, is a Jackazz that is trying to brew a smear campaign to sell their piece of $%#!% newspaper that nobody reads anyway.I can’t figure who died and made him king of the camera .He probably doesn’t even have education in journalism. Gwaan you damn UDP flunkie. The one thing I will tell you about my disgusting Belizeans is that if they like you..they like you and no picture will stop them from supporting you. You go girl…do ya thing and make us proud.

  35. Lisa M Shoman says:

    I have read all the above comments with interest

    Carolyn Reynolds of WIN Belize gets it – “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.”

    She also said, “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. ”
    Also, ” 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.”

    Yesterday, Ann Marie Williams – Executive Director, National Women’s Commission said “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.”

    Even the wife of the Prime Minister, Mrs.Kim Simpliss Barrow expressed her disapprobation.

    I urge Belizeans, stand up for what is right, and condemn wrong – no matter who criticizes, or how you are vilified and decried.

  36. balanced says:

    Well said Lisa Ladies come on what is wrong is wrong the Gaurdian Newspaper also had no right to publish that article for political gain and guess what it actually came back and hit them hard.shame on you Alfonso you are so distasteful I didn’t know you before and now I dont like you I will never again spend a cent on that ditasteful newspaper shame on you, shame on the Guardian shame shame shame shame!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  37. ruralP says:

    Agreed shame on Alfonso ,Shame on the Guardian and shame on any one connected to it!

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