Categorized | National News

Female Parliamentarians Rally Support For Bills

After nearly a week of arguments and uproar both inside and outside the House of Assembly over the proposed amendments to the Constitution to achieve gender equality, the Commonwealth Of Women Of Parliamentarians (CWP) found it necessary to launch a ground campaign in an effort to combat the growing misconceptions on the proposed amendments.

Chairman of the CWP Bahamas Branch Glenys Hanna-Martin recently said that women in parliament would partner with women-based organisations throughout the country in an effort to lead dialogue and educate Bahamians on the issue.

“We see it as becoming manifestly necessary based on what is happening and the issue is so important, we feel that we have to step forward now to ensure that the message goes out in its purity, in its pure essence and really its such a high ideal that is being pursued and were very concerned about the various issues that are creeping in,” she said.

Minister of Social Services and Minister responsible for Women Affairs Melanie Griffin along with State Minister for The Ministry of Transport Hope Strachan urged Bahamians to unite on these issues.

“Women have waited for over 40 years to have this matter considered in this way, the matter of equality in the Constitution which is so very vital for the advancement and development of our country,” Mrs. Griffin said.

“This is an extremely important issue for us in this country not only domestically
but also internationally in terms of our reputation, in terms of how we are accepted internationally as a civilised society, a modern society that has put in place laws to protect all of its citizens, women deserve the protection of the Constitution just as men deserve the protection of the constitution.” she said.

The debate on the four bills continues in the House of Assembly today.

The first amendment bill seeks to achieve gender equality through the transfer of citizenship.

It seeks to give a child born outside The Bahamas to a Bahamian-born mother and non-Bahamian father the same automatic right to Bahamian citizenship that the Constitution already affords to a child born outside The Bahamas to a Bahamian-born father and non-Bahamian mother.

The second amendment bill enables a Bahamian woman who marries a foreign man to secure for him the same access to Bahamian citizenship that a Bahamian man has always enjoyed under the Constitution in relation to his foreign spouse.

The third amendment bill addresses an area in the Constitution that discriminates against men.

It will give an unwed Bahamian father the same right to pass citizenship to his child that a Bahamian woman has always had in relation to a child born to her out of wedlock.

The fourth amendment bill, which has sparked controversial, debate addresses ending discrimination based on sex as it relates to marriage.

It calls for the insertion of the word “sex” in Article 26 of the Constitution therefore making it unconstitutional to discriminate based on whether someone is male or female.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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