Category Archives: OECS Barbados

We have FAILED our women and girls

Presentation1United and Strong Inc got the opportunity to view a recent “pornographic video” circulating social media, featuring some level of sexual abuse of a young lady.

While some may seem to have dubbed this a form of “pornography’ we prefer to refer to it as the humiliation, torture and abuse of a young woman.  We are not too concerned with whether this was a recent or past situation but more so the continued objectification, sexual harassment and abuse experienced by our women and girls in Saint Lucia.  Such treatment appears to be part of the fabric of a young woman’s life and seems to be an accepted norm.

Too often such behaviors are described as “normal stuff” that “men do” while at the same time fostering in our women a culture of tolerating what “just happens” and where they are criticized for not successfully maneuvering men’s aggressive sexual behavior.  We somehow accepted a behavior where women play into the myth that “men will be men” and that men are unable to contain their sexual desires the way women do.

As men, we must accept the reality that we have failed and continue to fail our women, our daughters and our mothers.  We have bought into the belief that such behavior is what makes us “men”.  Even crazier is the apparent reality that women themselves are not being each other’s keeper.  Too often victims are belittled by their peers, holding them responsible for their victimization.

What is most disheartening to United and Strong Inc is the fact women in our upper echelons of government are doing very little to curb the impact of such crimes on their fellow women.  We have seen the many comments of being “empathetic” to women during times of crisis or when it’s politically appropriate.

If indeed our elected female Members of Parliament and female Ministers are “empathetic” towards their fellow women then:

  • Why remain muted when a cabinet colleague was involved in an alleged sexual misconduct?

  •  Why make comments that the best place for a new born baby was at a make-shift nursery at the Bordelais Correctional Facility?

  •  Why is that Victoria Hospital can’t have a separate examination room for victims of sexual violence?

  •  Why is it so difficult to have a full-time Social worker/Counselor stationed at the Office of the Vulnerable Persons Unit (VPT)?

United and Strong challenges the female Parliamentarians and Ministers to reflect a difference in how they engage the electorate and not become tangled in the “boy clubs” persona of our political parties.  We urge you to cast aside your political colors and initiate realistic activities that would lend to the safety and security of women within your communities.

We further challenge you to be bold and recognize the work United and Strong has been and continues to do with not just LGBT persons but women.  We open our doors to you, so you can engage the many recipients of our Red Light Project and other initiatives.

As a civil society organisation, we are committed to creating a future free from sexual violence and believe every individual has a role to play in this vision. All forms of bias, prejudice and oppression obstruct the mission of ending sexual violence.  We look forward to your willingness in partnering with United and Strong Inc and creating a conducive environment for national growth and development.

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LGBTQI youth advocates at SocialInnov4Change workshop in St Lucia

#SocialINNOV4Change includes LGBTQI Youth Advocates

A contingent from United and Strong were on hand to represent LGBTQI youth as Social Innovation for Change (SocialINNOV4Change) launched in Saint Lucia. The workshop engaged youth age16 to 35 in an effort to develop innovative ideas that can be implemented at the community level.

Social Innovation for Change coincided with the Wednesday August 12 celebration of International Youth Day.

UNDP Barbados and the OECS has issued a Call for Proposals for SocialINNOV4Change and as a part of the project, an onsite judging will take place on the 5th of October 2015. Twelve ideas will be selected to be further developed in the Social INNOV4Change Innovation Lab tentatively scheduled for the 13 to 15 October 2015.  This Innovation Lab will allow participating groups to further develop their ideas into effective solutions that could be executed within a three month period.  At the end of the workshop, the final ideas will be judged by a panel of experts who will select six ideas to be eligible for a grant of US$2,000.  The focus will be on project ideas that encourage positive behaviours through:

  1. The design of innovative campaigns through any media that aims to reduce the use of violence for conflict resolution amongst young men and women.
  2. Creating original ways to utilise the creative arts, culture, technology and sports to educate, reinforce positive behaviours and promote violence prevention in communities.
  3. Innovative initiatives that target the prevention of gender based, sexual and child violence.
  4. Campaigns and projects that foster community relations and prevention of community violence.
  5. Promotion of conflict resolution strategies.

Interested individuals and organisations must complete and submit an Expression of Interest Form on or before 25 September 2015 

For more on the application and selection process forSocialINNOV4Change, visit the UNDP Website.