Women in Politics: Gender Imbalances
press release to Barbados Free Press by Felicia Browne
Women’s Rights advocate Felicia Browne maintains that it very important that women in politics are respected by their male counterparts. Browne argues that although political discourses may at times become passionate, it ought not to become passionate, differences should be discussed in terms of opinion and political stance, not by bullying because of gender.
Her concern follows from a recent assertion by a male Minister and Parliamentary Representative to a female Opposition Leader here in Barbados. Following from his argument, Browne notes that though he may not have intended verbal abuse his female counterpart, his public assertion reinforces some of the alarming concerns that woman’s activists are raising awareness of, when highlighting the issues on women’s rights.
Browne adds that “The Minister must be fully aware that women are being abused verbally and physically in our societies. We must never allow ourselves to project such impassionate messages to pass as a social norm. We must never allow such verbal abuses to be so easily projected and excused as a “social norm”, particularly by those who should look to garner more respect as representatives of a nation.
These types of norms are detrimental, not only to our women but to our families. The growing trend in Domestic Violence is reflective on the nature of how women are being treated as human beings. We must recognize the long-term effects that those terms can have our societies. Such statements that seeks to dehumanize the woman in sexual; derogatory terms- has not place in national politics or any part of our society.
We cannot continue to believe that these types of abuses do not affect women in general. It is not surprising that women are not encouraged into politics. Women usually exhibit fears due to the fact that such humiliations deter them to contribute meaningfully to their communities and societies. We must also observe that our young children and youths have privy to such information and can lead to a false perception that this type of behavior is acceptable. We must attempt and continue to show respect and gratitude to each other- show peace and understanding- rather look to methods of political discourse that are demeaning or disrespectful to anyone involved.
Felicia Browne is a Feminist Philosopher at the University of the West Indies and Human Rights Advisor. (FeliciaBrowne.com)
Editor’s note: (Cliverton) But what about studies that show that women are usually the initiators of physical violence in relationships even if they come out poorly when violence is once engaged? Huh? What about that?
Let’s not get into victim celebration too much lest the truth out…
“Almost 24% of all relationships had some violence, and half (49.7%) of those were reciprocally violent. In nonreciprocally violent relationships, women were the perpetrators in more than 70% of the cases.”
National Institute of Health study Differences in Frequency of Violence and Reported Injury
“While studies have consistently found that women initiate as much violence against their male partners as vice versa, two-thirds of domestic violence injuries are suffered by women.”