On May 16th 2012, Senator St Rose Greaves, of the Ministry of Gender, Youth and Child Development in Trinidad & Tobago, delivered a featured address at a consultation on the National Gender Policy. Speaking with reporters after her address Senator St Rose Greaves said while her position is in support of including gay rights and abortion in the gender policy.
The CatchAFyah Caribbean Feminist Network wishes to stand in solidarity with Senator St.Rose Greaves as she speaks out to ensure that the rights and freedoms of all are respected and protected.
AN OPEN LETTER TO:
Senator the Honourable Verna St. Rose Greaves Ministry of Gender, Youth and Child Development Level 21, Tower D, International Waterfront Complex 1 Wrightson Road, Port of Spain Trinidad & Tobago
Dear Senator St. Rose Greaves,
We are the CatchAFyah Caribbean Feminist Network and we are a collective of young, passionate Caribbean activists and organisations. We span the Caribbean, representing such nations as Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, the Bahamas, Belize, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia and St. Vincent and the Grenadines. We are farmers, social workers, artists, social entrepreneurs, counsellors, researchers, teachers and students. We work for social and economic justice and empowerment, particularly gender equity and women’s rights. We stand against discrimination of any kind, including discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.
We are therefore pleased at your public show of support for the sexual and reproductive health and rights of women and the rights of the LGBTQ community. We recognise the tremendous courage it takes to speak publicly on issues that are controversial and that people would rather ignore. In speaking openly, you have demonstrated true leadership and a commitment to the rights of marginalised groups that far outweigh any potential opposition.
In addition, we join you in condemning the lack of adequate response to all forms of child abuse and in particular the sexual abuse of Caribbean girls and boys. We lend our collective voices to breaking the silence on this issue and we pledge to work in our communities, nationally and regionally to ensure that Caribbean children’s right to life free of abuse is made reality. This is on-going work to which we commit ourselves, in partnership with progressive political leadership in the region.
As you move forward in your social justice work, know that you are not alone. We stand in solidarity with you and we laud your courage and conviction. Always remain cognizant that your words and actions tangibly impact the lives of many Caribbean citizens. Although naysayers and detractors sometimes appear the loudest and most visible, remember that we are listening and we support you.
We look forward to your continued action and leadership on these very important issues.
CatchAFyah Caribbean Feminist Network
Tonya Haynes (Barbados)
CODE RED for gender justice!
Sherlina Nageer (Guyana)
Society Against Sexual Orientation Discrimination
Patrice Daniel (Barbados)
Rashida Beckles (Barbados)
KizzyAnn Abraham (Grenada) Grenada National Organization of Women
Kenita Placide (St. Lucia)
United and Strong Inc.
Zahra Jacobs (St. Kitts & Nevis, Trinidad & Tobago)
Asha Challenger (Antigua & Barbuda)
Malaika Brooks-Smith-Lowe (Grenada)
Groundation Grenada Action Collective
Tracey-Ann Lewis (Jamaica)
Women for Women
Amina Doherty (Antigua & Barbuda)
FRIDA Young Feminist Fund
Georgia Love (Jamaica)
Satira Maharaj (Trinidad & Tobago)
Fatimah Jackson (Barbados & Canada)
Zahra Airall (Antigua & Barbuda)
Women of Antigua
Valerie Chadic (Haiti)
Sanyu Phillips (St. Vincent and the Grenadines)
Tara Wilkinson (Barbados)
CODE RED for Gender Justice!
Ifasina Efunyemi (Belize)
Productive Organization for Women in Action (POWA)
Women’s Health Advocacy Network (Barbados)
Jamaica Youth Advocacy Network