NOW’S next step Women’s group may get seat on Social Partnership
THERE IS A STRONG POSSIBILITY the National Organisation of Women (NOW) may become one of the island’s Social Partners.
This revelation was made by NOW public relations officer Marsha Hinds-layne at the launch of 16 Days Of Activism Against Gender-based Violence, held at the Barbados Museum & Historical Society, Garrison, St Michael.
“Just before the retrenchment programme started, Minister in the Ministry of Finance, Ryan Straughn had a consultation with NOW and we looked at the layoffs from a gender perspective,” she said.
“One of the things he put on the table that we are exploring, is a potential seat on the
Hinds-layne explained that that meeting was primarily about how layoffs would affect women specifically, as there were a number of single-parent households.
She added that if NOW was elevated to the level of a Social Partner, other social issues affecting women, such as domestic abuse, would be given greater priority.
“I still think too many decisions in Barbados are made without the gender reality being taken into consideration, and having a seat at the Social Partnership means that we could have a better impact at the policy level,” she added.
Hinds-layne also said that NOW’S elevation could help the organisation work more effectively in terms of reducing the cases of violence against women.
She explained that there was no single authorised entity for abuse victims to report to, as some women contacted the police, Queen Elizabeth Hospital or other social services, and the information given to those agencies could not be accessed by NOW.
The PRO maintained that if the women’s group had access to that data, official statistics and an analysis of gender-based violence could be produced.
Hinds-layne said that was why it was difficult to provide research unique to Barbados.
She noted conducting a simple survey would not solve the issue and a continuous pool of data was needed. (SB)
A SECTION of those who turned out for the launch of 16 Days Of Activism Against Gender-based Violence yesterday. MARSHA HINDS-LAYNE, of the National Organisation of Women.