Unwed Motherhood As A Career Choice In Barbados – Updated

Updated Sept 2, 2006 – Scroll to Bottom for Update

This is one of those “everybody thinks it, but nobody dares say it aloud” articles.

Hamilton Lashley wants to “eradicate poverty” in Barbados through the simple expedient of giving money (called “a social safety net”) to women who choose to have many babies without bothering to get married or otherwise find a man who is willing and able to support a family.

This makes unwed motherhood a career choice, and empowers young uneducated women to perpetuate further generations of young unwed mothers and young men who lack the steady hand of a father.

The current trend towards making unwed motherhood a societally sponsored career choice marginalizes the role of fathers and men in general – and can do no long-term good.

How about this for a national policy…. “You breed ’em. You feed ’em.”

And what about the children, you say?

For those children who are needy, set up a national orphanage where at least they have a chance to escape being socialized into a never-ending cycle of lower-class mores that drains away self-reliance and personal responsibility.

There. Said it. Felt good.

Cliverton with Shona

From The Barbados Advocate…

Hamilton Lashley: Unique Poverty In Barbados

With a United Nations (UN) definition of abject poverty referring to any individual earning less than US$1 per day, Advisor to the Government on Poverty Eradication and the Millennium Goals, the Honourable Hamilton Lashley stated that Barbados enjoys a unique brand of poverty, which must be stamped out nonetheless.

Speaking at the first of the Rotary Club of Barbados South’s evening meetings…

According to Lashley, who was quite comprehensive in his presentation regarding the unified international plan to stamp out poverty, the state of affairs in Barbados is quite unique in the sense that several struggling individuals are living in a poverty of choice so to speak. Regaling the audience with a host of stories from his own experiences, Lashley noted that individuals living in the most dilapidated structures in Barbados, who are unable to provide themselves with one meal a day, have, for example, a large, expensive vehicle parked in the driveway.

Focusing significantly on the misplaced values of these particular persons living in Barbados, Lashley was quick to point out that the government will always provide safety nets to individuals who truly have no power to help themselves, and through research will continue to show great care in the individuals looking to survive on tax payers money.

Highlighting single mothers of large families along with the disabled community of Barbados, Lashley extended an arm to the Rotary Club of Barbados South to partner in the plans for poverty eradication here in Barbados.

Updated – September 2, 2006

As if we need more proof about the cycle of unwed mothers giving birth to unwed mothers, you must read this article from The Nation News

IT’S NOT EASY TO talk about what I’m going through right now, but I want to share my experience with Barbados in the hope that other mothers will realise how they influence their daughters, for good or bad…

My situation involves my daughter and her lifestyle. Despite the fact that she has certificates from secondary school, she is not interested in working anywhere. Instead, she prefers to live off hand-outs from different men – all of whom are married.

Right now she is friendly with three of them. She sees each on different days and has them so well regulated that they don’t turn up by the house unannounced.

It hurts me to admit it, but it seems that’s the way she intends to get through in life – on her back.

How my daughter got this way is what I want to talk about. She was raised by my mother because I could not properly care for her. At that time, my boyfriend, who was not her father, and I were renting a house that was not in the best condition, and we still had our two children to support. It was tough, so my mother took her off my hands.

Exposed to lifestyle

At my mom’s house she was exposed to the lifestyle of my two sisters in particular and my mother. Both of my sisters had a child each before they were 19. Both had hell with their children’s fathers, and both began using men to get what they wanted.

As for my mother, though she tried her best with us, she had it rough with our fathers, in particular my sisters’ father who used to beat her. So she had this hatred for men that was intense by the time my daughter went to live with her.

It was in this environment that my daughter grew up and her opinion about men was shaped. She saw violence and abuse in my sisters’ relationships, and heard negatives from my mother.

By the time she was 19 and out of school, instead of looking for a job, she had a married man going to my mother’s house to her…

But what was worse than even her attitude was that of my mother and sisters who said she was doing the right thing. I remember how the sister three years younger than me said: “If she is going to do something, she may as well get something for it.” That is the way they brainwashed my child.

Well, she is in her late 20s today and still living in my mother’s home which she and my sisters have renovated. She has her own room and brings in who she likes. … And my mother says nothing to the three of them because she feels that all men are good for is money.


Again, what hurts me deeply about her behaviour is what she has put her body through. She had two abortions. When I heard about them from my mother, after she had the last one, I confronted her on it. She blasted me, telling me I am no better than her as I was never married but lived with a man all my life. Besides that I brought a ‘bunch a bastards’ into this world with hardly anything to give them, and she didn’t plan to do that too.

Since that time, about two years ago, we have not spoken; my sisters and mother don’t say anything to me either. It’s a case of the blind leading the blind.

…. Every time I look at her I feel that I could have tried harder with her, but I was only a girl myself considering that I had her when I was 17.


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

13 responses to “Unwed Motherhood As A Career Choice In Barbados – Updated

  1. I’ve been saying this for YEARS,now!
    We have Bajans that are the unwanted children of unwanted children of unwanted children of..
    – you get the picture!

    Third, fourth and fifth generation UNWANTED CHILDREN!
    “People” growing growing up being used misused and abused (phyisically, emotionally, psychologically) from Day One.

    No wonder we have the dysfunctional nitwits I’m sentenced to share the roads with!
    These are “My People” – I’m so lucky.
    I get taxed to death, to support My People.
    I’m so lucky.

  2. Fran

    Oh please Mr. Lashley, with all due respect, are you going senile? Are you losing your marbles? Our morals, values and anything that belies decency is taken to lower depths by a genertion of vipers and now you want a “breed and pay” system? Hell! no!! You cannot eradicate poverty when the Bible says the poor you will have witih you ALWAYS. You can alleviate but never eradicate. I’ve always been opposed to men dropping de seed like wild flowers and women breeding like mice and simply collecting welfare. Find something to do for tax payers hard earned money.
    May God grant you fresh vision, wisdom, knowledge and understanding.

  3. Enquiring Minds..

    Poverty will be with us always becoz stupidity/under-education will be with us always.
    Ppl are poor, NOT becoz they are white, or brown, or green,
    and NOT becoz they live in Sandy Lane, or in Emmerton,
    they are poor becoz they are IQ-deficient, stupid, poorly-reared, uneducated, unemployable!
    Until we correct THOSE factors we are ‘spinning top in mud’.

    Hamila has un-ending fund$ to give away.
    he is part of The Great Socialist Ideal that Barbados fancies itself to be,
    based on our burgeouning economy of sea, sand, sun en fun(sex trade)

    Barbados Government has endle$$ money, in an empty Treasury: how long can the facade last?
    Do you have your life savings in Barbados?
    You DO?

    How long til you wake That Fateful Morning,
    to discover that Central Bank has “re-valued” your paper dollar,
    and you’re now 30% poorer than you thought you were, when you went to bed?

    How much longer can the Bajan Economic Facade last??

  4. Hants

    In Canada it is called the Welfare system.

    Child over 16 years old gets pregnant moves into an apartment with baby and she and the baby is supported by government Welfare department. More babies more money.

    You can’t punish women and children for the acts of irresponsible men.

    In Barbados at least the PM is leading by example.

  5. Jason

    “You can’t punish women and children for the acts of irresponsible men.”

    Can you punish a single mother for the acts of six different irresponsible men?


    Besides, the more babies she has the more money she gets.

  6. Pat

    As far as I am concerned, it takes two to tango. They are both irresponsible. You would think they would learn after the first child, but it seems that they make an industry out of breeding.

    In Ontario, Premier Mike Harris was pilloried because he brought in workfare. Those on welfare with children grown or in school, the employable, had to work. Their benefits were reduced, some were put out of their subsidised houses, others had their subsidies decreased. Where men were found to be living with the woman, all benefits were cut. We all got a $200 provincial tax refund.

  7. I read the BFP post and the Advocate article and I still can’t figure out how the BFP extrapolated from that article “Unwed Motherhood as a career choice”.

    Mr. Lashley is esssentially addressing the issue of “who cares for the carers?”

    There was a Nation article of a woman who was caring for mentally challenged family members and living in extreme poverty. Shouldn’t the state help defray the cost of caring?

  8. BFP

    While Mr. Lashley did talk about crippled people and looking after those who cannot look after themselves, the article is quite clear that he believes that giving money to women who have large numbers of children out of wedlock is the way to “eradicate poverty”.

    We believe that Mr. Lashley’s “solutions” will actually perpetuate poverty.

  9. BK

    It is not a perfect system or solution; welfare I mean but you must look at the opportunity cost of a welfare system versus the accute social dysfuction that is sure to follow. Whatever problem you have x by 3.

  10. I was reading this article and was baffled, how can somebody propose this as a solution to alleviate poverty. And he is the government advisor for poverty reduction strategies, and the MDGs! may he was just kidding or under some kinda influence, or overwhelmed by the fact of giving that speech, let’s put it that way. There are various policy options to approach conditional cash transfers, but that one I have to confess I had never heard about it before.

  11. Crusty

    Best to read the following article all the way to the end of
    page 2 before making judgments about it.

    “Lone mothers lead exodus from benefits”

    by Sarah Baxter, 3 September 2006, Sunday Times


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