Daily Archives: April 10, 2006

Help Wanted in Barbados – Women Need Not Apply

The Barbados Advocate has a little article in today's paper, "Barbados Youth Business Trust To Invest In Women In Non-Traditional Sectors." From the article…

"A recommendation has been made for the Barbados Youth Business Trust (BYBT) to train and invest in Barbadian women in non-traditional occupations, specifically in the areas of gardening and landscaping, carpentry and tiling."

It is wonderful that young Bajan women are going to be trained in better-paying construction occupations. Of course, getting a job might be impossible if you are a woman – as there is nothing to prevent Barbados employers from discriminating on the basis of gender, and such discrimination is common and even accepted.

Here are some typical help wanted adverts from the classified section of The Nation Newspaper…


Notice the exclusionary terms: "2 man crew", "sign maker… preferably male", "boys…wanted". Even when the ads deliberately target both male and female prospective employees, their very wording confirms the rampant gender discrimination present in the Barbados labour market…


If all employment in a society is normally open to both men and women, there is no need to specify when a job is open to all applicants.

In the old days in Barbados, employment adverts used to say, "Persons with Continental experience preferred" – which was code for "Whites only need apply as they are the only ones who have worked in Europe."

After all those decades – even hundreds of years – of racial discrimination, we long ago arrived at a place in our history where blacks and other non-whites could own land, vote and yes, even rise from poverty to become Prime Minister or Governor General of Barbados…

… but here we are in The Year of Our Lord 2006, and both The Nation and the Barbados Advocate newspapers still print employment adverts that effectively say "Women Need Not Apply For Employment."

Shame! Shame!

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Filed under Barbados, Crime & Law, Culture & Race Issues, Island Life, Politics & Corruption

Barbados Tenantries – Land Title Transfers – To Whom The Benefit?

A Nation News article states that the Government of Barbados will now move “swiftly to complete the transfer of land titles for 700 householders living in urban St Michael by year-end…”

This is the ongoing (seemingly forever ongoing) Urban Development Corporation government program to transfer property ownership to the tenants who have been living on old plantation lands sometimes for generations.

While all this is very fine, we must confess that we just don’t trust the government to properly transfer these land titles without someone wrongfully getting their paws into the money. With zero transparency of process and a history of Barbados Government officials, politicians and their relatives ending up with expropriated or tax-distressed lands, why should anyone believe that the current closed-door process is not being abused?

For Barbados government officials to end up with a little squeeze after a billion dollars of real estate is transferred would just be so, well, Bajan!

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Filed under Barbados, Barbados Government, Island Life, Politics & Corruption