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Crisis Centre, Crisis Garden and Gender Affairs


Tue, Mar 6. 2012

Editor: For some time now, we have been hearing about the establishment of a crisis centre, which is believed to be a centre for women in crisis. One may then ask, if the woman in crisis has children, what would happen to them, especially if all are boys?

The Gender Affairs Department has been so much hung up on the issues of women, that they forget that gender is not just one sex.{{more}} The centre has been delayed so long, due to conflict over position among personnel within the Ministry of National Mobilization and the political game of “owning things” under the ULP government. This has really put the centre in a crisis, which may be hard for the proposed individual to head in her state of tardiness. I strongly propose that the centre will serve its purpose much better if it is designed to cater for both genders; thus, it should bear the name THE NATIONAL SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT CENTRE (NSDC).

Plans to revitalize the Botanic Gardens are long overdue, but why does it have to take a “friends of the Gardens” committee? Is this another way of shifting blame for unfinished promises of another political party in government? The National Parks was set up to look into projects like these, but again, the political game of “owning the government” has put the garden in a crisis. Chairman Ferdinand should think again before asking the general public, especially the business community, for assistance in the revitalization. Remember when we were asked to help clean up Kingstown, with one politician leading the way? He is now out of politics and does not have the cleanliness of Kingstown on his agenda, even though his company’s boxes litter every alley and drain. The spirit of volunteerism has been stifled and politicized so much, that no one wants to be part of anything called development. They are more attracted to destruction and the love of money. A major component that is lacking also is consultation. This is only said, not done, and maybe this should be the first step for the “friends”. They may have some new revelations, such as: get a botanist for the gardens, revitalize the gardens in such a way that it caters for the family as a unit; construct a water facility for children where the stud centre was located; construct two more verandas for relaxation and performance purposes; encourage weekend performances by small musical bands; let the public in on the fees to be paid, not preset by some foreign evaluation; and finally, open the path to the GG’s quarters for visits and photo shoots. If properly organized, the crisis gardens along with the crisis fort could net $100-150 thousand annually.

Of late, it seems like the National Council of Women is doing the work of the Gender Affairs Department. Up to three years ago, the NCW was only heard, but not seen. There was one individual behaving like a superwoman, making representation on different occasions. The travelling director of Gender Affairs seems to have limited time to plan and execute for the department, so Gender Affairs is also in crisis. This department has also been caught in the political game, where personnel place priority on positions, radio and television appearances, giving impressions.

Thanks to the new leadership and vision of the NCW, with support from the OAS, and Australian funding, we are hearing about women congress, centre for men and boys, and women’s consultation. Maybe when the Gender Affairs gets other males in the department we may hear of a “Gender Congress”; if not, the entire department should staff the Crisis Centre, oops! THE NATIONAL SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT CENTRE.