Tough break

Economic troubles hitting women hard, says BWU

Concerns including the fact that more women were living below the poverty line was one of the concerns that brought scores of women out on the streets of Bridgetown for a Barbados Workers’ Union (BWU) march
to mark International Women’s Day.

Placard-baring demonstrators for calling for a better deal for women.
Placard-baring demonstrators for calling for a better deal for women.

Coordinator of the BWU’s gender equality committee Wilma Clement, speaking to members of the Press at Solidarity House shortly before joining other placard-bearing female and male marchers, said the economic crisis was having a major impact on women.

“What we have found is that many of the women who were members of the union have lost their jobs as a result of redundancies, both in Government and the private sector. As a result we thought that International Women’s Day would be a good opportunity to bring their message to Barbados,” she said.

“We need, for example, to look at what is happening in terms of their poverty levels. More women now are below the poverty level. More women are unemployed as a result of the redundancies and all of this is affecting the family structure.”

Today’s march through The City was also a platform for the union to express concern about violence against women.

Men came out today to lend support to the BWU women.
Men came out today to lend support to the BWU women.

“When some women do not have a job they are exploited by other persons because they need to have some kind of income to support their families. There are also other persons who see unemployed women as easy prey and targets,” Clement said, insisting that the message should be sent that “women need to be protected and seen as one of the most vulnerable groups in the society”.

“We need to ensure that they are able to progress once they are qualified and able. We also need to have the social services in place,” the BWU official said. Meantime, Clement said while more women were attending the Cave Hill Campus of the University of the West Indies, they were not taking up senior managerial positions in the corporate world.

“We need to have those opportunities accessed for the women who are qualified to take the top management positions. We need to recognize equality is important if we are to take the country forward. The success of women is the success of the family, the community and the nation.”

One Response to Tough break

  1. Maxine Hutchinson March 8, 2015 at 2:58 pm

    Yes, more women than men are attending UWI but what happens after they have fought their way through ill health, children to look after in the home and stressors that threaten their health and livelihood, inclusive of being undermined by their bosses?

    They are persons who watch as you are advancing your level of education and what do they do? They set out to make sure that you do no benefit from your success. Apart from making statements that undermine the content of the professional qualifications, they tell untruths about those women, after which, persons in authority who are not in possession of the discerning eye, listen to lies about these women and in turn, set out a plan of action to play monopoly with their lives in such a manner that they would not be able to use the additional knowledge and skills in their work arenas.

    After suffering stagnation they are saddled with having to repay loans without the benefit of an adequate salary or a chance of being promoted to a higher post.

    What you eventually come also to realize is that as long as you are not from the “right class / school” or you are not privileged to have a parent on whose wings you are allowed to ride, you will have to accept that you are not good enough as far as is stated clandestinely in your situation and you just get on with the job – that is, if your health allows you to do so without much discomfort.


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