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EDITORIAL: Condoms may be the solution

Barbados Nation

EDITORIAL: Condoms may be the solution

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BARBADOS’ HOME AFFAIRS Minister Adriel Brathwaite has much to talk about whenever he meets Robert Montague, Jamaica’s new minister of national security.

They can, for instance, exchange concerns about rising crime, the size of their police forces or how Barbados and Jamaica can crack down on human trafficking.

There’s more. Brathwaite can ask Montague about his recent forthright bit of advice to Jamaica’s police officers. It was: wear condoms when sharing moments of passion and pleasure with women.

“If you cannot maintain the results of your relationships, wrap it,” was the way Montague put it at a Jamaica Police Federation’s conference. “Too many officers are in court for maintenance orders.”

In other words, many cops aren’t providing mothers with the financial support they need to raise children with care and are therefore forced to haul fathers before the court for child money.

That’s a shame, a disgrace!

We have a somewhat similar headache in Barbados. Although we don’t have exact figures to show the full scope of the problem, droves of Bajan fathers, some of them public employees, are failing to support their children.

In recent months this paper has published heartbreaking stories about mothers making public appeals for help. It’s a tragic situation for both mother and child who have to feel the pain of neglect and poverty, simply because of irresponsible fathers. According to United Nations figures, more than a third of Barbados’ households are headed by women, some of whom don’t receive a penny in support from their children’s fathers.

The courts have an effective weapon to use: order more fathers to pay up and if they don’t, slap them with contempt of court citations. And that can mean time in prison.

A much better solution, though, is for fathers who have more children than they can maintain or for young studs who want to prove their manhood by indiscriminately bedding women to protect themselves and their female partners from unwanted pregnancies. That’s where condoms come in.

After all, family planning isn’t solely a woman’s responsibility. It’s a shared obligation. The Barbados Family Planning Association has been saying that for decades.