February 12, 2018
Behaviour and speech in parliament is indicative of a systemic issue in politics and our society.
We find that, in general, the Members of Parliament are inadequately informed on the subjects that they are representing, and absolutely no effort is being made to remedy this deficiency.
These individuals do not have sufficient knowledge to make sound decisions on behalf of the Bahamian public and immediate action needs to be taken to ensure that they commit to and receive the proper sensitivity training to make them functional.
They should also reach out to institutions like the Bahamas Crisis Centre to expose themselves to accounts from survivors of abuse and sexual violence.
The recent statements made in the House of Assembly by Member of Parliament Emmanuel and House Speaker Moultrie condoning domestic violence, discrimination and gender inequality not only shows lack of knowledge around human rights conventions our country has committed to uphold, but also a disregard for basic human rights.
It is appalling that they thought it fitting to make such declaration in Parliament - the very place where laws are created to circumvent the behaviours they exalt.
It is imperative that the Prime Minister clearly states the country’s position on domestic violence, inequality and discrimination and demonstrate a serious commitment to reinforcing that stance.
Formulation of an implementation plan, inclusive of budget and timeline for the 2015 Gender Based Task force recommendations would be a great start. Too long have we allowed the Bahamian people to be disrespected by government officials without consequence.