Of course, not just mothers: Grand Mothers, Aunts, and all the strong women in our life. In fact, as you are reading this you’re filling in the blanks with names of the women close to you. You know these people. You know how important they are.
But Bahamian society has the tendency to be a bit chauvinistic. Women do not have equal rights in this country. Before I go on, just let that fact settle. Women, our mothers, are considered less. In regards to passing on citizenship to their children, Bahamian mothers must rely on the father’s nationality. Women have no power to do this on their own.
This is backwards, immoral and a terrible embarrassment for our society.
If you are a Bahamian man and do not believe this should change, please don’t hide behind your fear of gay people, your fear of “marriages of convenience,” or your fear of any other red herring that comes up every time the country tries to have a national dialogue. Own up to your real fear: women making decisions. Look your mother in the eye and tell her how it really is: you think she is less than you.
And that’s not a very nice thing to say so close to Mother’s Day.
This must change if we are to grow as a nation. And I believe we will change.
It’s not all bad news for women in our country. According to the international Labour Organization, women make up 44.4 percent of people in managerial positions. This puts The Bahamas 9th out of the 108 surveyed countries.
THIS is a number we can be proud of.
So with the increasing role women play in Bahamian business, leadership and politics it seems so counterintuitive that we tolerate laws that openly discriminate against our mothers. I ask you to change the attitudes in our island and our country. When the opportunity arises to change, take it.