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McCartney: The DNA supports the protection of women rights
  
Friday, 23 March 2012 09:04

“The protection of women rights is of paramount importance to a Democratic National Alliance government,” said DNA leader Branville McCartney.

Commenting on recent remarks made by Social Development Minister Loretta Butler-Turner, he added “Our goal as a government is to ensure complete equity and equality for Bahamian women and complete protection of every civil, human and legal right as afforded men.”  

Addressing the remark that other democracies have embraced changes to their laws and outlawed marital rape, McCartney remarked: "I was a Cabinet member when this legislation was first introduced, and I saw first-hand how divisive this would be to the country. Re-education to build awareness is required before making decisions that affect our country's Christian values. We can no longer rush legislation, because of international pressure without considering how it would affect our society.”

He continued, “I object to Butler-Turner’s assertion that this issue will eliminate the DNA from the political race, mainly because this Party, unlike her own, are open to a discussion with women’s rights activist, clergymen and others. The DNA will continue to be transparent and will be a participatory Government, and so is pursuing such leaders to further discuss its policy on this issue.

It is noted by columnists, since this Act was proposed in 2009, that such legislation ‘would place marriage under a heavy duty microscope’ and it must take into account the social situation of a country.

The DNA leader challenged the Ingraham administration stating: “Perhaps it’s time for the Bahamas Government to consider its own entity to supplement the Crisis Centre, (dedicated Government shelters for abused women & men, proper research and documentation, adequate help workers in social care for victims of abuse and human trafficking, upgrade the quality of services afforded women and other victims of abuse and better partnerships with NGO’s to increase their capacity in the work to protect women particularly incorporating male groups in the dialog). These are the primary issues our government would seek to address.

In order to further consider the best way to move our country forward, Mr. McCartney is convening a focus group of representatives from both clergy and women's rights activists in order to build consensus amongst the varying perspectives. While we will not agree on everything, the DNA believes that this, like many other issues facing our country, can only be resolved through mutual understanding and compromise. By facilitating a conversation where all voices can be heard, Mr. McCartney hopes to develop a policy that will enforce our Christian values and protect women's rights.

Mr. McCartney believes that if full implementation or rejection of the legislation is not achieved then there is still the possibility of compromise for marital rape accusations where the couple is separated, not living in the same home or if one spouse has a sexually transmitted disease. Mr. McCartney also believes he can build consensus amongst both invited groups to strengthen domestic violence laws in all cases where a spouse assaults their partner.


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