On June 7 the country has a choice to make. In the simplest of terms, because the choice is very much a simple one, we will decide whether we believe women should have the same rights as men enshrined into the constitution.
The age-old question: are women human and deserve to be treated as such?
Of course, that is a funny way to phrase it. But the matter itself is not funny. Women, families, all across our country are struggling with a basic right – passing citizenship onto their children. Men automatically pass their Bahamian citizenship onto their little boys and girls. But for women, who had the seeming misfortune of falling in love with someone other than a native son, they can face years and years of strife.
Families (men and women) must butt up against a bureaucracy that is, no secret, ineffective and antiquated. They struggle in fear that their sons and daughters will be denied rights that come freely to those born of Bahamian men. And they must exist under the notion that women are constitutionally inferior to men.
No, we are not living in a country that bans women from driving or holding positions of power or showing their ankles in public. Which should make the decision to GIVE WOMEN THE SAME RIGHTS AS MEN not only a logical choice but a necessary one. The Constitution should reflect that.
But it doesn’t. If you are a Bahamian woman reading this know that, right now, you are by law unequal to me. I, and my Bahamian brothers, can go to any country and have as many children with as many women as we want – and our children will be Bahamian. You, as a woman, apparently cannot be trusted with such choices.
I’ve heard a lot of nonsense regarding the Four Bills being proposed on the referendum. Fear, ignorance and straight up misogyny are being spouted by some – including leading religious figures. It’s disgusting. It’s wrong. And it is holding you, me and our country back.
You know I don’t spill a lot of ink in this column agreeing with the government or praising them. That’s not my job. But in case it’s not clear, I stand 100 percent behind them regarding this referendum.
Please, I beg you, vote yes. Correct this wrong and give a brighter future to our children. Have discussions with your friends and family who get carried away by the rhetoric of the backwards and bigoted. Challenge the deceitful and the dangerous who would keep our sisters as less. Think. Vote. Change our country for the better.
You don’t sway minds by attacking someone or their beliefs head on. I don’t understand the fears some Bahamians have regarding these bills – I personally believe the common challenges to the bills are garbage. But we should not seek to degrade our fellow Bahamians for what may be their honestly held beliefs – instead challenge them to think for themselves and think for their children. Don’t get caught up in politics. Don’t cut off your nose to spite your face. Let’s make women equal.