Published On: Sat, Jul 5th, 2014

Violence, cruelty, inequity and injustice…not our destiny says Triennial Awardee

Presentation1CARICOM Secretariat, Turkeyen, Greater Georgetown, Guyana - Ms. Marion Bethel, the eleventh recipient of the CARICOM Triennial Award for Women, in her acceptance speech, struck a resounding note  in her call to governments and civil society “to commit  wholeheartedly to zero tolerance for violence against women and girls” and to the “pursuit of a fifty percent representation of women in Parliament”.

The distinguished attorney, Bahamian scholar, poet, film-maker, essayist, short-story writer, nationally, regionally and internationally acclaimed gender equality and  human rights advocate declaredthat for all the violence, cruelty, inequity and injustice that women face regionally and globally, this is not our destiny”. Continuing, she soberly reminded that  “women’s creativity, imagination and perseverance as anchored in our social agency, political actions and work do matter”.

Delivered with grace, style and depth, Ms. Marion Bethel, essentially built her response on the platform of The Bahamas’  Women Suffrage Movement, with the situations and struggles of and by women and girls, the central theme.

Ms. Bethel added to her call, among other issues, self-determination for the disabled  and the lesbian, gay, bisexual transgender communities, noting  that this issue required serious attention  and redress. She called for social justice  for  the statelessness of undocumented persons in the Caribbean and for the “Caribbean Community to  reconsider its stance on the death penalty and to abolish same.

The distinguished awardee  acknowledged that  the award spoke to “CARICOM’s” highest aspirations for women in the Caribbean and the world” and  that she accepted it with gratitude and thankfulness.

Ms. Bethel  joins  a distinguished group of women: Ms. Nesta Patrick of  Trinidad and Tobago (1984); the late Dame Nita Barrow of Barbados (1987); Dr. Peggy Antrobus of Grenada and citizen of St. Vincent and the Grenadines (1990); Ms. Magda Pollard of Guyana (1993); Dr. Lucille Mair  of Jamaica (1996); Professor Joycelin Massiah of Guyana and citizen of Barbados (1999); Professor Rhoda Reddock of Trinidad and Tobago (2002); Justice Desiree Bernard of Guyana(2005); Prof. Barbara Bailey of  Jamaica (2008); and Prof. Violet Eudine Barriteau, Ph.D of Barbados (2011)

The CARICOM Secretariat in 1984, introduced the CARICOM Triennial Award for Women to acknowledge the landmark contributions of inspiring and distinguished Caribbean women.

 

Volderine Hackett

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