Gender activists today wrapped up their International Women’s Day activities with a strong message to society that it is important for boys to learn from an early age to respect all women.
Representing the Barbados Workers Union (BWU) Gender Equality Committee, Jacque Collis of Barbados Port Inc, said young boys must be taught to practice respecting women and holding them in high esteem while Barbadians work to reduce the incidences of violence against women.
She said: “We want the boys to understand that the women in their lives, whether it be a schoolmate, whether it be a cousin, whether it is a mother, whether it is an aunt, your neighbour, they must respect women.
“We really hope that we can start working with the younger children and let them know that this learnt behaviour of violence is not how it should be.
“Love your brother, love your sister and have respect for everybody.”
Collis was speaking to Barbados TODAY at the Committee’s Expo of Clothes Line Against Violence in commemoration of International Women’s Day, at Church Village Green, The City, today.
She said the group of women who represented various companies across the island, used the expo to mark the end of their two-day International Women’s Day seminar, held at BWU Labour College at Mangrove, St Philip.
Collis said the clothes line was used to focus the public’s attention on violence against women and what they believed could be done to curb the national issue.
She said: “One of the main questions which caused a lot of discussion during the seminar was what we taught about the crime level currently in Barbados.
“If we think it is higher than it was before or if it was lower.
“We were educated with the statistics letting us know that even though gun violence was up, violence on a whole is down in Barbados.
“We also looked at the world on a whole and we learnt that this is the most peaceful time the world has ever been.
“Go fact-nd and you will see that it is very peaceful around the world now. That is one of the things that we definitely did learn and give us hope.”
Some of the messages on the shirts which were displayed on the clothes line read: she’s royal; you expose yourself all over the place; women wise up; rise up; stand up, a woman is like a tea bag – you never know how strong she is until she gets in hot water; the future is female; don’t hide on cyberspace: come meet me face to face, and it’s no sin for us to win.