The Rights & Freedoms Bill – It’s the most discussed, misunderstood and feared part of the constitution reform; and this worries me. I’m worried because we are less than a day away from the proposed changes to Grenada’s constitution and many are still confused and ill-informed of what the bill entails and how it can impact the way our country moves forward. There’s also been a lot of fear-mongering and hate-mongering by those who feel that the bill promotes a hidden agenda. This too worries me because the peddling of fear is what helped a controversial figure like Donald Trump become the President-Elect of the United States.
Fear creates Phantoms that makes the things we are fearful of appear much larger than they are. And fear, coupled with ignorance can create a recipe for disaster. There has been a lot of debate on Bill #6, The Rights and Freedoms Bill. Some feel that the wording is too broad and leaves the door open for the possible:-
1) – rights of same-sex individuals to marry and enjoy certain rights afforded to straight couples 2) – the right for transvestites to come to Grenada and ‘spread their lifestyle’.
Yes, I’m quoting these two from Facebook. The last being a sticking point in a video I looked at today.
There’s so much more to the Bill than this. In fact, the new gender equality chapter includes provisions that relate to equality between men and women. For example:
“both men and women shall be entitled to equal access to academic, vocational and professional training; to equal opportunities in employment and promotion; to equal remuneration for work of equal value; and to equal access to justice;
“both men and women shall have the right to legal protection, including just and effective remedies, against domestic violence, sexual abuse and sexual harassment.”
Folks, it is our individual responsibility to know what we are voting for or against. We must educate ourselves on these and other matters that can impact us all. Don’t vote for or against anything because someone made an impassioned social media comment or you viewed a viral video that stirred you. Let that prompt you to do your own homework. Ask questions, research, have healthy discussions, and actually read the proposed changes from the official website. Know and understand for yourself. Then exercise your vote responsibly.
You can get information on the Constitution reform website or the Government of Grenada site. I’m also inviting you to check out the above Facebook live by Malaika and Richie of Groundation Grenada. Hopefully, these links and resources can help demystify things and help you to make an informed choice on voting day. Check out the links, watch the video and vote knowledgeably.
Carlana Charles is the visionary and editor-in-chief of FemmePowered. She is a womanist, writer, speaker, story midwife and facilitator of meaningful and engaging conversations. When she is not working in or on FemmePowered, she can be found resting, baking, reading or scribbling furiously in her journal whilst sipping wine or coffee, sometimes both at the same time. She is currently working on her first book and hopes to release it in September 2017.