Categorized | National News

Former GG Wants Women Equality

Former Governor General Sir Arthur Foulkes said yesterday that he supports equality for women and there is no good reason why the constitutional amendment bills on gender equality should not be passed by Parliament and approved in a referendum.

If the bills are not passed, Sir Arthur expressed that “The Bahamas would be listed among those backward peoples of the world who still believe that accidents of birth like colour and sex should forever assign some people to inferiority status.”

His comments came as he addressed a forum hosted by the Citizens for Constitutional Equality at Holy Cross Anglican Church, where he discussed his support for women equality and instances of the Constitution which discriminates against women as it relates to citizenship.

Last year debate began in the House of Assembly on amendments to the Constitution that seek to institute full equality between men and women on matters of citizenship and also eliminate discrimination based on sex.

Four bills to amend the constitution were presented, but the fourth bill has sparked much controversy throughout the country because some people said the bill may be an attempt to garner support for same sex marriages.

The fourth bill addresses ending discrimination based on sex and 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.

According to Sir Arthur, the fourth bill is the most important one and despite what people may say, all of the bills should be passed.

“One argument I have heard against at least one of the bills is that abuses are likely to occur. Well, of course, abuses are likely to occur. What constitutional right or freedom or privilege do we enjoy that is not subject to abuse by someone?” Sir Arthur asked.

The former governor general said he has heard no convincing argument as to why the entire political directorate of The Bahamas should not be unanimous on the issue of equality for women.

“If some are hearing contrary noises from some of the people they represent, then they should go to their people and explain why it is the right thing to do,” Sir Arthur said.

He pointed out that with every progressive step taken by humankind there have been accompanying challenges, and it has not been beyond the ingenuity of progressive leadership to deal effectively with these challenges.
“It would be a great shame if we allowed all the red herrings, all the excuses, all the misinterpretations and all the predictions of calamity to prevent us from extending full constitutional equality to all Bahamians, including women,” Sir Arthur added.

The former governor general noted that women constitute more than half of the country’s population and are quickly becoming the most educated half of the population.

“To accord all citizens of a democracy, equality regardless of sex is plainly, simply and clearly the right thing to do,” Sir Arthur declared.

Written by Jones Bahamas

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Watch JCN Channel 14 Shows

Jcn Channel 14

Sign in now to see your channels and recommendations!

Join Us on Facebook