Outlaw marital rape and deal with the citizenship issue

Dear Editor,

It may not have dawned on the president of the Bahamas Christian Council, but The Bahamas’ lack of regard for the well-being of females goes hand in hand with the level of gender-based violence in the country.

Ponder this, Bishop Delton Fernander: The Bahamas is one of only 36 countries that hasn’t criminalized marital rape – that’s out of about 197 countries.

Besides The Bahamas, countries on the “It’s OK to Rape Wives Shame List” include Pakistan, China, Haiti, Myanmar, Libya, Kuwait, South Sudan, Iran, Afghanistan, Senegal and Laos.

And of course, Bahamian women don’t have the same right to pass citizenship to their children as males, in no small measure due to the discriminatory propaganda springing from certain misogynist members of the clergy.

What sort of message does this send to messed up people prone to violence?

So, it’s OK to rape your wife and it’s OK to discriminate against women, but we wring our hands in despair when yet another girl or woman falls victim to gender violence?

Toughening penalties isn’t the answer.

It’s time to stop giving comfort to the monsters. Outlaw marital rape and deal with the citizenship issue. Give girls and women the protection and respect they deserve.

Athena Damianos

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