UWI student out to prove sexual harassment against LGBT community

One University of the West Indies (UWI) student believes there is a lot more harassment in the workplace of members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community than is generally acknowledged.

So convinced is Marisa Hutchinson of this that she has decided to focus on the subject in a thesis as she completes a master’s degree at the regional tertiary institution.

“My reason [for doing the research] is once social research is done in the Caribbean, what little there is are either in general on sexual harassment in the workplace or it is heterosexual women. The research tends to be heteronormative and I want to bridge that gap, because, maybe the persons doing the research could be lesbian, bisexual, gay or trans, but there is not specific focus for them. So, I want to drill down on how they are affected in different ways whether it be by their managers, even clients that kind of stuff,” Hutchinson told Barbados TODAY in a recent interview.

Parliament last month approved the Employment Sexual Harassment (Prevention) Bill, giving Barbadians greater legal recourse if they face sexual harassment at work.

Minister of Labour Dr Esther Byer-Suckoo, who piloted the legislation in the Senate, has described the measure as gender neutral, although she has made it clear Government was not sanctioning same sex unions or homosexuality.

However, she said the new legislation would provide protection against sexual harassment based on an employee’s sexual preference.

Hutchinson is not satisfied, however, that the law goes far enough to protect members of the LGBT community, many of whom she claimed were being seen as less competent than heterosexuals, and were being paid less than they deserve.

“Persons thinking they are not as competent at doing what they are employed to do. For some persons that is hard, and there are issues with personal identification and they may not be treated the same in terms of salary [or benefits],” Hutchinson said.

“Yes, being paid less and sometimes not even being hired and it’s hard for those persons to find jobs. If they are they basically have to work for whatever they are being paid as means to an end.”

While throwing her support behind the new legislation, saying it had been long overdue, the UWI student stated that “there still needs to be provisions for everyone, not just people who would identify as heterosexual”.

The Employment Sexual Harassment (Prevention) Act 2017 focuses on the protection of employees in both the public sector and private sector from sexual harassment at their workplace. It aims to provide a framework for the reporting of sexual harassment cases by employees and a method of resolving such cases; and to establish a procedure for the hearing and determination of matters related to sexual harassment.

14 Responses to UWI student out to prove sexual harassment against LGBT community

  1. Pat Edwards
    Pat Edwards November 7, 2017 at 11:38 pm

    Why the subject of a.student’s thesis make headline news. Stop creating all this sensationalism reporting that can generate agitation and contentious remarks. Why cant this student do her thesis like all of us get it graded and move on. Look how many other topics are dealt with and nobody dont highlight them

  2. Ron November 8, 2017 at 2:19 am

    Can’t agree with you more Pat.
    On seeing the article, I said is this
    What journalism has come to? Any average student can make headlines. We need to do better. Probably there is some kind of agenda.

    • VoR November 8, 2017 at 7:13 am

      There is an agenda. This is why this is highlighed.

  3. luther thorne November 8, 2017 at 8:55 am

    I disagree with you Pat , Ron and VoR. Contrary to what you believe, that thesis is the property of UWI. It represents research that can help society. If you say, “Why cant this student do her thesis like all of us get it graded you are not acknowledging the role of UWI . When you go to University in a society like Barbados where taxpayers money fund your education, you are expected to give back. Too many students seem to think that it is about ‘me’ and whats in it for ‘me’
    So you get the degree and you are looking for handouts and entitlements. You have arrived and you deserve to be paid X amount and displace others who do not have the piece of paper whether or not you are competent and can do the job. In a society like Barbados we need educated people who have practised research , who have the capacity to do research to contribute to the development of society
    Do the thesis getting in graded and ‘ moving on’ is not good enough. You need to contribute tp society.

  4. Greengiant November 8, 2017 at 8:59 am

    The reporter of this story tells the story. I rest my case.

  5. Claire Battershield
    Claire Battershield November 8, 2017 at 10:55 am

    So what makes this news ? A friend did hers on Juvenile Diabetes in Barbadian children .SOOOOOOOOO. You news agencies need to really focus and stop looking for pieces that stoke fires .So many topics to deal with and you are just looking for fast sell headlines .Just go to show you set out to surpass the competition , you pass and end up doing just what they are doing or have done .

    • St clair worrell November 10, 2017 at 2:53 pm

      You are doing exactly what makes it news by voicing ur opinion on the topic. ..Perhaps, if it was about juvenile diabetics u would have sail on by. …It has drawn ur attention and therefore the paper is doing the necessary. ..One other point, the paper is in the business of selling more news and that is the the main reason of publishing news. ..At the end of the day that is what keeps the doors open. ..Other than that would be insane. ..

  6. Sherlene Phillips
    Sherlene Phillips November 8, 2017 at 11:33 am

    This sounds like discrimination already…choosing her topic to put in the paper and ignoring other topics which are just as good or better

    • Pat Edwards
      Pat Edwards November 8, 2017 at 6:17 pm

      Now that you say that i was even wondering if it does not give this young lady an unfair.advantage over the other students in her faculty.. doing a thesis is hard work and you have to go out there and find your research audience to do your surveys and interviews etc. EVERYone could do with a little publicity to help them along because some people dont like to participate.

  7. Joy Wharton
    Joy Wharton November 8, 2017 at 11:37 am

    Actually it’s thought provoking, since the LGBT is attempting to exert its presence or power in Barbados

    • Epaphras D. Williams
      Epaphras D. Williams November 8, 2017 at 12:59 pm

      A New world order is rising

      • Ras November 8, 2017 at 1:25 pm

        Sodom and Gomorrah on the Horizon
        All the debauchery will be on display
        Welcome to the New World

  8. lester November 8, 2017 at 6:07 pm

    This is non else than attempt to push the hom sexual agenda tell them they chose that filthy lifestyle and now want pity away with this abomination NASTY

  9. Read November 8, 2017 at 10:59 pm

    @Ras, the KJV Bible explicitly says that the Ppl were “wicked” or did you not actually read it.

    @lester if it is they you are denouncing the abominations, you should also denounce the drunkards, liars, theives, adulterers and all persons who have broken any of the commandments which as it states in the Bible were written by God and given to Moses however there was no mention of LGBT in the commandments


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