THE DNA Women's Alliance hit back at Montagu MP Loretta Butler-Turner's criticism of the party's stance on marital rape.
Alliance president Prodesta Moore said she was shocked by Mrs Butler-Turner's claim that the DNA leader Branville McCartney "back peddled" after initially declaring he did not think rape in a marriage should be illegal.
She said: "Mr McCartney has not back peddled, in fact, he made it explicitly clear that he did not support Ms Butler's legislation when he was in the Free National Movement (FNM), nor does he support it now.
"Ms Butler's legislation to amend Section Three of the Sexual Assault Act was intended to change the institution of marriage, and threatened to change the foundation of social structure. It took very little measures to protect married women."
Mrs Moore said she believes the DNA has taken significant measures to ensure the protection and equality of women.
"The DNA has shown an unrelenting commitment to the protection of women, unfortunately Mrs Butler and the FNM have failed miserably in that regard."
She said that unlike the FNM, the DNA has consulted experts to develop a comprehensive policy to protect the rights of women that includes:
Abolishing Section 111-4 of the Penal Code that permits "chastising a spouse under justifiable conditions."
Extending citizenship rights to children born of Bahamian women, the same as would be granted to Bahamian men.
Amending Section 15 of the Sexual Assault Act to include punishable offenses against sexual intercourse with a spouse if the spouse lives separately, even in the same facility; a protection order has been issued against one, or both, spouse; force or violence is used during intercourse.
"As a mother of a daughter and a candidate for the DNA, I have been thoroughly impressed with the commitment our party has made to ensure equality in the Bahamas. Mrs Butler appears to be more interested in scoring a political point than actually fighting for the rights of women," she said.