The Barbados government is committed to ensuring that a National Policy on Gender is developed, says Minister of Youth, Family and Sports, Esther Byer Suckoo.
She made the comments last Friday during a courtesy call by outgoing Director of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), Harold Robinson, and incoming Deputy Director for the Caribbean Region, Hernando Agudelo.
Byer Suckoo explained that once the gender policy was formulated, it would be laid in Parliament and debated. “There are still questions in people’s minds about gender, and we need to open up discussion at a national level and give them the opportunity to express themselves,” she stated…
… from the Caribbean Net News article Barbados to have a gender policy
The Legacy Of Esther Byer Suckoo: All Talk – No Action
When Esther Byer-Suckoo was elected in January 2008, we were pleased and excited because we thought that she would bring a much-needed women’s perspective, professionalism and a sense of urgency to Barbados government. We thought that she would be effective and a leader in fighting for the social changes and legal protections that Bajan women need to achieve equal rights under law.
How wrong we were.
Byer-Suckoo doesn’t seem to realise that talking and talking and talking accomplishes nothing. She continues to make the same mistakes that resulted in her being sacked from the position of Minister of the Environment in November, 2008. She doesn’t understand that well-written and effective laws are necessary to lead societal change.
In truth, Byer-Suckoo operates under the same fallacy as most of her DLP comrades: she believes that words are actions.
No Employment Equality Law For Women In Barbados
Let’s start with a gender-equality premise so basic, so simple, that most free and democratic societies have already embraced the concept: no person should be excluded from being employed on the basis of their gender. No woman should be told, “You can’t apply for that job because we only hire men for this position.”
Esther, you can tell young Bajan women that they can be successful in Bajan society and business – you can tell them anything you want – but as long as the government considers that women’s rights aren’t worth protecting in law, our daughters, wives and sisters will continue to be second-class citizens.
Most free and democratic societies put laws in place that prohibit excluding women from consideration when hiring or promoting employees. Newspapers and job-banks in the UK, Canada and USA wouldn’t dare print “only men need apply” or any of the other code phrases because gender-based discrimination is prohibited.
That prohibition doesn’t apply in Barbados though – where the Nation newspaper leads the way in keeping women down. Whether it is protecting a senior male journalist charged with the rape of a young female staffer, or simply printing a job advertisement that excludes women, you can count on The Nation!
Deeds, Not Words!
Minister Byer-Suckoo would achieve far more if she would stop talking and introduce just one law that would prohibit employers from discriminating against women, and prohibit media from printing help wanted advertisements that exclude women.
Article by Shona with Cliverton.
How bad is Barbados at protecting women and children? Barbados doesn’t even have a law requiring the reporting of suspected child abuse. Byer-Suckoo talked about such a law almost a year ago, but as usual nothing happens. Barbados Government Minister Byer-Suckoo Cautions “Not To Get Our Hopes Up” Waiting For Child Abuse Reporting Legislation
And if a husband has HIV/Aids? Barbados Family Planning Association Head says Don’t tell the wife if hubby has HIV!
Yes sir… we look after our women and children very well here in Barbados.