Sunday, February 20, 2011

Women's Rights Violation STILL A Problem!

Two news stories published last Thursday have returned my attention to that ever-present and ire-inspiring issue of women's rights and freedoms in this my beloved country.

Photo found via Google Images, from here
The first was about a 12-year-old girl who was strip-searched at the Norman Manley International Airport in Kingston. According to the news report, she was asked to 'remove her pants and underwear following an upper-body pat down search'. Later, her mother said that the officer conducting the search questioned her daughter about her menses. Now, you tell me, what does a 12-year-old's menstruation have to do with airport security? And couldn't the officer have been more humane and, well, decent, considering that she was violating the privacy of a child? I felt violated just reading the story! (See the news story here).

The next issue was an exotic dancer who was allegedly gang-raped by five policemen.Gang-raped. According to the news report, she was working when a bus full of policemen arrived and proceeded to raid her workplace. A group of them gathered around her, shielding their activities from the public, sat her on a stool, and proceeded to rape her one by one. Oh the horror. The trauma. The injustice of it! (See the news story here)

What I find particularly disheartening is that in both instances, the women were (allegedly) victimised at the hands of security enforcement officials. Isn't that ironic and sad? The people to whom these women should have been looking for protection were the very ones who caused them needless pain, embarassment and trauma. When you can no longer depend on the security forces in your own country for help and, well, security, where do you turn? Is it time for us to double our padlocks, grills and bolts and create underground shelters and secret exits? Oh. Right. We've already done that.

I sincerely hope that in both cases, justice will be served. It is sad that we can still identify instances of gender-based violence against and victimisation of our women and girls. All we ever ask for is RESPECT: respect of our rights, freedoms and civil liberties, and a recognition of our entitlement to safety and security ... especially from the security forces!

6 comments:

Sunshine said...

So, so sorry that the very people that are to protect the public are abusing. Thank-you for having the courage to speak out.

Morpheus Rablings said...

There will come a day when the Jamaican people will rise with one voice and say "enough is enough", and be prepared to die for their country.

Ruthibelle said...

Hear, hear Morpheus the prophet ...

Thanks for the sympathy Sunshine. It does make me sad.

maybl8 said...

You may jokingly refer to him as "prophet", however, bear this in mind. When you write about it ad nauseum, and do nothing to stop it, it will repeat itself.
Jamaica has lost its moral compass.

Ruthibelle said...

You're right: action is imperative.

Abeni said...

No doubt they saw the sex workers as less than human.