Categorized | National News

DNA Women’s Alliance Push for Gender Equality

Members of the Democratic National Alliance (DNA) Women’s Alliance said it is time all members of society stand together and speak up for the full equality of Bahamian women.

In a press statement issued yesterday by Women’s Alliance President Prodesta Moore said the alliance held a forum under the theme “Achieving Equality for Women and Girls” last month to bring about awareness to the Bahamian public of the fundamental threats to women’s equality and to offer an opportunity for all citizens – men and women – to band together to evoke change.

“The inequality of women in our society is manifested in numerous ways; salary differences for jobs with equal responsibility; differences with respect to the inherited citizenship rights of children; and differences in the responsiveness to victims of violence,” she said.

“Unfortunately, today, there are still laws that encourage inequality towards Bahamian women. Article 26 of the Constitution fails to adequately cover gender-based discrimination, and this must be amended.”

Mrs. Moore said she is left to wonder these situations could have lasted for so long, unchanged by successive governments.

However, she said the reality is that many citizens do not know the law, or do not understand its implications, but she also contended that politics have played a major role in this dilemma.

“No matter your political affiliation, as Bahamian women, together, we need to be united for the equality, safety, well-being, success, and prosperity of all Bahamian women,” she added.

“Because we remain a divided people in this country, absolute change can hardly ever be realized. Whenever it is, it is slow to happen. The only real attempt to correct the inequality of Bahamian citizenship was a failure, in the referendum of 2002, because people. Women, voted on party lines. Referenda have consistently been utilised as methods of punishing governments for what we the people don’t agree on. And as important a civil right as it is, to request and hear the voice of the people in a referendum, the equality of Bahamian women with Bahamian men should never be something on which we as Bahamians, or as Bahamian women, should ever disagree.”

Mrs. Moore said it is time for the Constitution of The Bahamas to be amended, to remove all inequity.

“The current government has promised to see this amendment through to law in the coming months of their term in office,” she added. “We look to them to fulfill this promise. In the meantime, we need to fight – for equal pay for equal work, for the citizenship of Bahamian women’s children, for review of the statutory rape law, with the overarching goal of change.

“We have to put an end to the deprivation of education for the girls at Willamae Pratt. We need to sensitise law enforcement agents of the state to properly handle the assault and abuse of women, as almost half of the murders recorded are of women. And, in keeping with such appropriate enforcements, we would like to see a safe house built and immediately thereafter opened for abused and battered women.”

“Women comprise the largest voting block in The Bahamas. And, with this balance of voting power in our favor, we can make the incredible difference needed in our country. Women of today can ensure the protection and fair treatment of generations of women to come. In fact, we can decide who will win or lose an election. So it is incumbent upon us to use this inherent power to obtain the inherent rights of citizenship and equality for all of us and for our children.”

The alliance president said as a signatory to the Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) The Bahamas has an international obligation to make right the wrong of unequal citizenship right for the children of Bahamian women.

“We of the DNA Women’s Alliance are committed to ensuring that this is swiftly done,” she added. “We signed on to the declaration and now we must comply.”

Written by Jones Bahamas

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