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Anglican women condemn brutal attacks

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Tue, Jun 22, 2010

by Anglican Church Women’s Association

The Anglican Church Women’s Association (ACWA) congratulates the newly elected President of the National Council of Women, Sister Nelcia Robinson Hazell and other members of the Executive Committee on assuming leadership of this important umbrella organization of the women’s groups of our nation.{{more}}

Sister Nelcia brings to the office of president a wealth of expertise and experience in activism and advocacy of women’s rights. She has operated on a regional and international stage and will, we are sure, explore these networks for the benefit of women’s groups in SVG.

The new executive comes to office at a time when there not only appears to be a serious assault on the women of our state but, worryingly, a lack of redress in the justice system. The case of Jolene Charles demonstrates the unequal yoke the woman bears in the male/female relationship; she is sole care giver of the children, bread winner, slave to the male partner and subject to brutality for daring to call on the male to pull his weight. The unwritten rule seems to be that women must be utterly subservient to the male or suffer the greatest physical abuse – witness the merciless chopping up of school girl, Afeisha Toby who has had to have brain surgery in Trinidad and Tobago and must now face an uncertain future of dependence on others for survival.

How does the justice system respond? With what amounts to being a slap on the wrist of the aggressor. Jolene remains paralyzed for the rest of her life thanks to the injuries intentionally inflicted on her by her partner. In the scales of justice it appears that that fact counts for so little that a mere five years sentence was deemed adequate punishment for snuffing out the independence of a human being. It seems to matter little that she has three young children depending on her for nurture and care.

ACWA condemns these brutal attacks on the women of our state and calls for appropriate redress in the Courts of our land. There continues to be serious domestic abuse of women at all levels of our society. The many loop holes in the legal system make a mockery of women’s efforts to find redress and take control of their own lives. This encourages feelings of helplessness among victims as they observe the impunity with which males are allowed to commit acts of violence against their partners. ACWA continues to advocate for an end to domestic violence and for the right of women to enjoy human dignity, independence and freedom to pursue dreams.

On another note, ACWA recognizes the onset of the Carnival Season, and is alarmed at the direction in which the revelers are taking cultural expression. ACWA calls on all to pull back from the abyss of vulgarity and licentious behaviour, and to bring back dignity, decency and positive creativity in what we identify as our premium cultural festival. It is the duty of all stake holders to ensure that positive expression of our national cultural ethos is affirmed on our streets, in the media and at our national shows. Why do carnival costumes feature only bikinis for our females but have the male revelers fully clothed? What has become of the ‘chip on the toes’ that was common fare among all revelers? Can we not root-out the vulgar gyrations and ‘wuk-up’ that even little children are encouraged to display to public applause? ACWA thinks we not only can but we must.

We call specifically on the students and young girls of our Nation to be extremely careful in their choice of activities this carnival season for the predators are out there in numbers, ready to lure unsuspecting, and naïve girls into actions they will regret long after the revelry has passed.

ACWA affirms the God-given role of women to give nurture and care to the young and to participate in the building of our nation so that peace, progress, and prosperity may reign, and God’s kingdom be established.

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