BASSETERRE, St. Kitts — The public is strongly encouraged to be culturally sensitive and respectful to all persons in appreciation of their uniqueness, according to representative for Migrant Women, Grace Carr, who joined several others to discuss the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-based Violence.
Ms. Carr noted that when it comes to gender-based violence and its impact on migrant women she would like to see several changes. One important change is for persons to be culturally sensitive to the migrant population.
“What I find especially as it relates to migrant women is that people are very culturally insensitive to their needs,” said Ms. Carr. “A woman might find herself in a country, some people have probably overstayed for whatever reason. People address them and see them as persons who they can sexually disadvantage because… the women are unable to fend for themselves economically, and so sometimes they get themselves into relationships with men that are unfavourable and they hold this economic power over them because they are not from here.”
Ms. Carr appealed to persons who are disadvantaged or whatever reason to reach out for assistance.
Patricia Richards-Leader, Chief Executive Officer at the Grange Facility, appealed to Ms. Carr to set up orientation classes, through the Jamaican Kittitian Association (Jam Kit) for the migrant population. This, she said, should assist them to better execute their duties and provide them with the relevant information needed to make their lives easier.
“There are centres or faith-based community services that people can access,” she said. Certainly, the Jam Kit is an association that persons who are from the migrant community can align themselves with and get relief.”
Ms. Carr noted that it will also be important if information becomes available, and easily accessible to assist people. Additionally, she would like to see “stricter and harsher punishment for perpetrators.
Ms. Carr said that having the right attitude is an essential ingredient in developing and building a more harmonious and tolerant society.
“We have to get to that place where we talk about 20/30 vision, but a lot of Caribbean islands are not Third World countries,” said Ms. Carr. “What is Third World about us is our attitude towards each other and to the law.
“We have the capabilities and we wear it all but we need the will,” she concluded. “We need the will to do what we are supposed to do by our elders, persons with disability, the migrant population and by our women and children.”