EDITORIAL: A day without women? God help us
WOMEN IN BARBADOS don’t face some of the inequities endured by their counterparts in some other regions of the world. We should be thankful for such good fortune.
But that doesn’t mean that women here enjoy all the privileges and opportunities they deserve.
Despite their liberation in many ways from the bad old days, they are far more likely to be the victims of domestic and physical abuse, be exploited as domestic workers and subjected to human trafficking as sex workers or modern-day slaves.
These are but a few of the issues on which we ought to reflect today as part of the activities marking International Women’s Day.
It is an opportunity to look at the disparities they still encounter in trying to get out of poverty, enhance their education or prepare for a secure retirement. Admittedly, our women have made major strides in the workplace, and given the avenues open to them, they need to do even better, whether as salaried workers or entrepreneurs.
It is in the workforce that the changes can be significant, not just for an individual, but for a family, for the community and by extension the country. In many instances the breadwinners in the home are women, even as they raise their offspring.
At a time when much of the talk is about entrepreneurship and boosting economic empowerment, every effort must be made to encourage and push female businesswomen.
This is a desirable goal given how technology is changing the job market, though it is also creating uncertainty and instability. The impact of these developments must be addressed when looking at the role of our women in society.
Today as International Women’s Day is being observed in different ways across the globe, the promotion of the concept of A Day Without A Woman should not be overlooked. There is a serious message in this effort by the organisers to attract attention and get acceptance universally of a woman’s role in society.
Even the most chauvinistic of men would agree that things would be difficult if women took the day off from paid or unpaid labour and also withdrew their support from industry and commerce for one day.
So support our women today as they wear red as a show of support and solidarity for the hurdles they still face and which will impact children and men.
It is not about an agenda of feminist activists from rich nations. It is about making the world a better place.
Don’t let the significance of the day escape us.