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Our Director, Alicia Wallace, was a guest on Connected with Lester Cox and Erin Greene on Guardian Radio this morning.
Another guest presented her views on the Constitutional Amendment Bills and her reasons for voting no on two of the four. Alicia and Erin disagreed with the guest’s reasoning, and the discussion was lively.
The Bahamas finds itself in a very uncomfortable position today. Over the past few weeks, conversations have been going on about equality. Women’s rights have been at the forefront of this conversation, but women are not the only people affected by the conversation’s catalyst. That catalyst? Four Bills. Four Bills recommended by the Constitutional Commission for amendments to four areas of the Constitution.
We’ll talk more about the current Constitution, the proposed Bills, the implications of a yes/no vote, and all of those details a bit later. For now, let’s keep this as simple as possible. The four Bills intend to make the following changes:
– BILL 1: Allow Bahamian mothers to pass citizenship on to their children born outside of The Bahamas (the way Bahamian men currently can)
– BILL 2: Allow men married to Bahamian women the right to apply for Bahamian citizenship (the way wives of Bahamian men currently can)
– BILL 3: Allow Bahamian men to pass on citizenship to their children born outside of wedlock (the way Bahamian woman currently can)
– BILL 4: Add “sex” to the definition of discrimination (where race, place of origin, colour, and creed are currently listed)
The referendum date was set for November 6, 2014, but the Bills must first pass in the House of Assembly with a 3/4 vote from the Members. Then, it needs to pass in the Senate with a 3/4 majority.
According to Article 54 of the Constitution, 29 of the 38 Members of Parliament need to vote in favour of the Bills for them to go to the Senate. On Friday, Dr. Bernard Nottage, M.P. and Rt. Hon. Prime Minister Perry Christie made contradictory statements with regard to the vote on Wednesday.
Below are excerpts from an article in The Tribune. We emphasize that these two excerpts are from the same article.
There is no telling which way things will go. With MPs politicizing the issue and making public statements against the Bills, we can only hope for 29 out of 38 to vote for this referendum to take place.
Now, we must ask, who is running the show? Is it Dr. Nottage or Prime Minister Christie? That may determine whether or not the Bahamian people ever get to make the decision about these Bills through a referendum on November 6, 2014. Up to now, we still do not have certainty on whether a 3/4 vote is required (as is set forth by the Constitution itself as the minimum) or unanimity.
Please support us in demanding a YES vote from our representatives. We, the people, deserve the chance to become educated on the proposed amendments and have our voices heard. Instead of in-fighting, politicizing, and missing the issues, MPs need to TAKE IT TO THE PEOPLE. We want a BETTER Bahamas for everyone.
Calls to Action for Bahamians:
– Call or email your MP and encourage them to vote YES so YOU have a voice.
– Write a letter to the editor of the newspaper of your choice.
– Join the social media conversation using #TakeItToThePeople and #BetterInTheBahamas
Calls to Action for non-Bahamians:
– Join the conversation as potential tourists on Facebook, RTing our tweets and posting your own using #TakeItToThePeople and #BetterInTheBahamas. Money talks, and you represent a lot of money to this country which is heavily dependent on tourism.
– Contact us with your ideas.
We’re watching closely as the Equality Bills are debated and the Constitutional Commission begins its education campaign. This week, we went to the FNM-hosted forum on the equality bills, Parliament proceedings as the bills were presented and debated, and the Crisis Centre-hosted educational session.
Coalition to End Gender-based Violence & Discrimination will soon begin the training process for its Educational Ambassadors. After the Bills have passed in the House of Assembly, dates will be announced. We know the importance of educating the general public and involving like-minded individuals in the process. Feel free to contact us with questions about the equality bills, or how you can become more involved in the educational campaign.
We came across this video with people yelling out what they’re actually saying to people they catcall at, and think it’s pretty awesome. We just had to share it with you.
If you nodded your head or said, “HUZZAAAH!” or anything of the sort while watching that video, please share it widely. People need to see it, and understand what it means when they sexually harass others.
We love hearing from you, so let us know what you think of the video in the comments.
Here’s what feminist YouTube blogger Marinashutup has to say to Shailene Woodley in response to her comments on feminism:
Tune in to Guardian Radio – 96.9 FM – today at 4:45pm. Our director, Alicia, will be talking about Hollaback! Bahamas and street harassment in The Bahamas.
Most of the trouble with feminism isn’t actually related to feminism. It’s confusion. It’s misunderstanding. It’s failure to do a little research. Many people have the absolutely wrong idea about feminism. People make associations that, when compared to real-deal feminism, make no sense.
We’ve already made it pretty clear what feminism is, right? Let’s take a minute to debunk the myths of feminism. Here is what feminism is NOT:
–Just for women
–About making women more powerful than men
–Trying to get special privileges for women
–Blaming anyone for mistakes we’ve made
–Making women victims
–Making it mandatory for women to stop shaving (or any other method of hair removal)
–Ignoring the issues men face
–For white women only
–Existing at the expense of men
–Extinct or unnecessary
Feminism does not negate freedom. It does not steal choice. It does not victimize anyone. It does not perpetuate stereotypes. It does not seek to make men suffer. It does not aim for women-over-men inequality.
Feminism is about equality. Equal social rights. Equal economic rights. Equal political rights. For everyone.
If you have a definition or idea of feminism in your mind and it does not coincide with equality, it’s wrong. Do not pass GO. Do not collect $200. Go directly to
jail this post.
If you found this post helpful, enlightening, or think it’s the perfect way to explain feminism (or what it is NOT) to someone you know, please SHARE, SHARE, SHARE!
If you have any questions or comments you’d like to share, please go right ahead! We’re here for it.
We interrupt our Feminism 101 series to bring you a new song/video from Colbie Caillat. The song and video work together to deliver a message of body acceptance and self-love, and rejects the notion that we need to spend hundreds of dollars and hours of valuable time attempting to look a certain way for someone else’s pleasure.
Check out this perfectly feminist video with beautiful women for an amazing, uplifting song. This song will probably be stuck in your head, but you’ll appreciate it.
If you love wearing makeup and having hair extensions makes you feel amazing, awesome! We, in no way, are saying you should never get dolled up. We just want you to know you’re beautiful, and we hope you like you, because we do.
Please share this video widely. There are lots of women and girls who need to hear this song, and see the beauty that exists in joy, freedom, self-acceptance, and self-love.
To learn more about the inspiration behind Try and the making of the video, check out this article.