On Saturday, December 15, Garnell Limperes, President of Island Waves, held the first of a series of workshops on Women’s Empowerment. A few women, and two men, attended the session featuring Ashley Murray, Ta-Tanisha Murray and Leanne Russell as speakers.
Ms. Murray, Ta-Tanisha’s daughter, is a very articulate young lady who spoke on “Good Health and Happy Women.” She covered healthy diet practices, such as drinking enough water each day, eating a lot of green vegetables, hygiene and cleanliness and exercising regularly. Her mother made a presentation on “Woman, a Multiple Machine,” which was a spiritual motivation speech. She gave her opinion on how the emancipation of women affected life around them and how women had to grasp at their spirituality to preserve a well balance family atmosphere.
Even though Ms. Murray thought that women had the same brain capacity as men since they can be leaders, warriors, civil engineers, designers and more; men and women, she said, have not been created to perform the same roles. A woman is the child bearer and the one who should be in charge of the household. A man, according to Ms. Murray, should be the one doing the heavy work and should be the bread winner.
Women, she stated, have the responsibility of teaching the children about emotions, spirituality and practicality. Ms. Limperes mentioned the shift of men and women responsibilities in modern society. She asked the speaker how she felt about men staying at home taking care of the household, Ms. Murray answered that she did not believe in that.
“Overcoming Abusive Relationships” was the topic of Leanne Russell’s discussion. She thought that inequality in men and women could lead to an abusive situation.
She began her presentation by giving disturbing statistics: 1/3 of all women in the world have been subjected to some kind of abuse. Domestic violence accounts for 25% of murders in The Bahamas which has also, still according to statistics, the highest ratio of rape-per-capita in the world. She deplored that women were not protected by legislation. The subject became a topic that led to a group discussion. Ms. Murray advised couples to wait a long time before getting in a close relationship in order to know the person you wanted to marry.
Ms. Limperes thought that many times the dual personalities of a couple can lead to violence. Ms. Russell said that realizing that the abused person is not always at fault and regaining self-esteem help end an abusive relationship.
The workshop ended with Island Waves Vice-President, Shanishka Bain-Cambridge, speaking on “Enhancing Your Wellness Potential.” Ms. Bain-Cambridge is a consultant at the Government Clinic and has conducted many workshops on dietetics and healthy living. More than an advice on what to eat or what not to do, her talk focused on statistics relating to diseases caused by an improper way of life, be it not eating properly or not exercising regularly.
She said that changing one’s way of life requires a preparation period. There has to be a proper purpose behind the decision. It should not be only to lose weight for example, but to engage on a lifetime way of eating and exercising that will promote good health. One has first to acquire knowledge from appropriate sources on how to do it and on why certain habits have to be broken. Once you have the right purpose, the new habits become pleasurable and they take over, she assured.